Colonial Pipeline, a top US pipeline operator had to shut down its 5,500 miles of the pipeline due to a cyberattack. It carries refined gasoline and jet fuel to the East Coast from Texas to New York.
According to Colonial Pipeline, they had to shut down its 5500 miles pipeline on Friday, which carries 45 percent of the East Coast’s fuel supply. The action was taken in an effort to contain the cyberattack which caused disruptions along the pipeline. The direct result of the attack is not yet clear.
With a capacity to transport 2.5 million barrels, the company supplies refined gasoline diesel fuel and jet fuel from the Gulf Coast up to New York Harbor and New York’s major airports.
The company has accepted it was under a cyberattack, though it did not provide further details about the same. It is like the attackers may have used malware tactics to shut down the operation or ransomware demanding payment to unlock computer files or systems.
Colonial Pipeline took proactive measures by taking down the systems offline in an attempt to contain the spread of the attack. Temporarily the pipeline operations were halted and it affected some of its IT operations. The details of the incident were shared with the law enforcement agencies and federal agencies.
This might be an attack carried out by the Russian hackers, though it needs to be investigated. Earlier Russia had implanted malicious code in the electric utility network. The United States responded to this many years ago by implanting similar code into the Russian grid.