Colonial transports about 45% of all fuel consumed on the East Coast. The pipeline system that spans more than 5,500 miles has two main lines: one for gasoline and another for things like diesel and jet fuel.
Cyberattack forces major US fuel pipeline to shut down
Updated 2212 GMT (0612 HKT) May 8, 2021
(CNN)A cyberattack forced the temporary shut down of one of the US’ largest pipelines Friday, highlighting already heightened concerns over the vulnerabilities in the nation’s critical infrastructure.The operator, Colonial Pipeline, said Saturday that the incident involves ransomware.The attack comes amid rising concerns over the cybersecurity vulnerabilities in America’s critical infrastructure following recent incidents, and after the Biden administration last month launched an effort to beef up cybersecurity in the nation’s power grid, calling for industry leaders to install technologies that could thwart attacks on the electricity supply.
Colonial, which transports more than 100 million gallons of gasoline and other fuel daily from Houston to the New York Harbor, according to its website, said it learned of the cyberattack on Friday, causing them to pause operations.
“In response, we proactively took certain systems offline to contain the threat, which has temporarily halted all pipeline operations, and affected some of our IT systems,” the company said in a statement.
Colonial, founded in 1962, says it transports about 45% of all fuel consumed on the East Coast. The pipeline system that spans more than 5,500 miles has two main lines: one for gasoline and another for things like diesel and jet fuel.
The company also had to suspend its pipeline in 2017 when Hurricane Harvey hit the Gulf Coast. The pipeline shut down for 11 days in September 2016 due to an underground leak and in November 2016 due to a deadly fire breaking out along a section of the pipeline in Alabama.This story has been updated with additional developments Saturday.
CNN’s Jamie Crawford, Brian Fung, Geneva Sands, Donald Judd and Arlette Saenz contributed to this report.