The Strategist

US authorities declare regional emergency due to Colonial Pipelines hack

05/11/2021 - 03:52

The US authorities have declared a regional emergency following the suspension of operations by Colonial Pipeline, the largest operator of the United States fuel pipeline.

Carol M. Highsmith
Carol M. Highsmith
Earlier, Colonial Pipeline said it had suffered a cyberattack. In response, the company shut down some systems "to contain the threat, which temporarily halted all pipeline-related operations and affected some information systems". According to media reports, the cyber-attack on Colonial Pipeline was carried out using ransomware. Bloomberg reported that DarkSide criminals were behind the attack and managed to steal 100 gigabytes of the company’s data.

"Regional officials hereby declare the existence of an emergency situation...This emergency situation was caused by an unforeseen shutdown of the Colonial pipeline system due to network problems, which affects the supply of petrol, diesel, jet fuel and other refined products throughout the affected states," the US Department of Transportation said in a statement.

States in the eastern and southern US, including New York, Virginia, Florida, Arkansas, Texas, Mississippi and several others, were affected.

"This statement refers to emergency conditions that imply the need for immediate transportation of gasoline (and other fuels) and the provision of necessary assistance," the US Department of Transportation said in a statement.

Colonial Pipelines said on Sunday that major fuel transport lines were down, but several smaller lines between terminals and delivery points had already started operating.

According to analysts polled by the New York Times, it could take several days for Colonial Pipelines to restore systems.