One of the largest pipelines in the United States has shut down operations after a cyberattack.
In a statement updated midday Saturday, the Colonial Pipeline Company said it had determined the incident involved ransomware — a type of cyberattack where malicious actors block access to data until a ransom is paid.
In response, the company took certain systems offline Friday to contain the threat, halting pipeline operations.
Related Story: Biden official warns cyberattacks on US are ‘here to stay’ after ‘Russian ransomware gangsters DarkSide’ shut down America’s largest fuel pipeline: Emergency declaration is issued in 18 states amid price hike fears
The New York Times reported on an earlier version of the statement that said the company had shut down 5,500 miles of pipeline, which, according to the company, carries 45% of the East Coast’s fuel supplies.
The company describes its pipeline as the “largest refined products pipeline in the United States,” transporting more than 100 million gallons of fuel daily from Texas to New York.
The statement said Colonial Pipeline has engaged a third-party cybersecurity firm and has also contacted law enforcement.
“At this time, our primary focus is the safe and efficient restoration of our service and our efforts to return to normal operation,” the statement said. “This process is already underway, and we are working diligently to address this matter and to minimize disruption to our customers and those who rely on Colonial Pipeline.”
It’s not clear who’s responsible for the attack.
The New York Times reported that because energy use is down due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the attack is not likely to cause any immediate disruptions.
Copyright 2021 United Press International, Inc. (UPI). Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI’s prior written consent.
This content is published through a licensing agreement with Acquire Media using its NewsEdge technology.