Colonial Pipeline, which shut down after a ransomware attack last week, has resumed deliveries to all its markets, a move that will likely relieve concerns of a gas shortage along the East Coast. Those fears prompted hoarding and panic buying that exacerbated the problem, even as state and federal officials warned against such action.
The major petroleum pipeline had been closed since last Friday, when a ransomware infection was found on its computer systems. The shutdown affected the supply of gas in parts of the East Coast, with some people waiting an hour or more at filling stations or not finding gas at all.
“Colonial Pipeline can now report that we have restarted our entire pipeline system and that product delivery has commenced to all markets we serve,” the company tweeted on Thursday afternoon. Still, the company cautioned that some markets may continue to experience interruptions and that it would take several days until the “product delivery supply chain” returned to normal.
Colonial Pipeline was the target of a ransomware attack that forced it to shut down operations.
The ransomware infection at Colonial highlighted the vulnerability of the country’s critical infrastructure, which has been the target of an increasing number of cyberattacks. Cities, schools and hospitals have all been hit by cybercriminals, who scramble a victim’s computers and then extort a payment to decrypt them.
On Wednesday, President Joe Biden issued an executive order aimed at strengthening US cybersecurity. The wide-ranging action includes the creation of a Cyber Safety Review Board that will convene after major incidents. Members of the Defense and Justice departments, several security agencies and private sector specialists will be on the board.
The FBI blamed the attack on a group called Darkside, which is believed to be based in Russia. On Thursday, Biden told a briefing the FBI doesn’t believe the Russian government itself was involved in the attack.
Darkside’s website has gone offline with the