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Cyberattack Restoration of Pipeline Company May Take a While

Colonial Pipeline, the operator of an oil and gas Pipeline system that was forced to shut down on Friday due to a ransomware attack, said on Monday that it is not expected to be restored even substantially until the end of the week.

The company said in a statement, “While this situation remains fluid and continues to evolve, the Colonial operations team is executing a plan that involves an incremental process that will facilitate a return to service in a phased approach. This plan is based on a number of factors with safety and compliance driving our operational decisions, and the goal of substantially restoring operational service by the end of the week.”

The Pipeline company said it kept an eye on its customers’ stocks and coordinated with shippers to fuel them. After Colonial’s announcement, oil and gas prices, which had risen earlier in the day, fell off their day’s highs. The business claims that the abrupt shutdown of 5,500 miles of Pipeline, which carries nearly half of the East Coast’s fuel supplies, is an alarming indication of gaps in the country’s energy infrastructure and has sparked questions regarding fuel supplies to large parts of the country.

Several airports that rely on the Pipeline for jet fuel, including those in Nashville, Baltimore-Washington, Charlotte, and Raleigh-Durham, N.C., may face difficulties later this week, according to experts. Airports usually stock enough jet fuel to last three to five days. The attack was carried out by DarkSide, the hacking group, according to the FBI. The announcement of the hack comes as the Biden administration prepares to issue an executive order strengthening America’s cyber defence infrastructure in the coming days.

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