The Colonial Pipeline recently announced that it has returned its systems to “normal operations”.
- A cyberattack forced the company to shut down last week, leading to gas shortages in the United States.
- Ships and trucks were deployed to fill up storage tanks after the six-day Colonial Pipeline shutdown, the most disruptive cyberattack on record, triggered widespread panic buying that left filling stations across the U.S. Southeast dry.
- Colonial was shut on 14th May 2021 after hackers launched a ransomware attack – effectively locking up its computer systems and demanding payment to release them.
2021 US Gas Shortage Highlights:
- There are 121,000 stores in the US that sell 5,300 gallons of gasoline per day. They accounted to 80% of fuel sales. The demand in these stores increased two to five times.
- The National average price of One Gallon of Gasoline increased by 3 USD for the first time since 2016.
- Around 75% of gas stations in Washington DC were without fuel after the cyberattack.
- More than half of North Carolina, Virginia and Georgia were out of fuel.Several gas stations were lined up with more than five to six trucks.
- The American Airlines had to change flight schedules due to fuel shortages.
- The US agencies coordinated to relax the rules to increase the trucks, ships and trains that shipped fuel.
- However, these changes brought only minimal impacts.
- President US Biden declared state of emergency to handle the fuel shortages amidst COVID-19 crisis.
- The strike on Colonial “is potentially the most substantial and damaging attack on U.S. critical infrastructure ever.
- The FBI has accused a shadowy criminal gang called DarkSide of the ransomware attack.
- DarkSide is believed to be based in Russia or Eastern Europe and avoids targeting computers that use languages from former Soviet republics.
- The Colonial Pipeline delivers approximately 100 million gallons of fuel per day and about 36 billion gallons per year to the markets it serves.
- It delivers 45% of fuel to the East Coast of the US.
- It runs from the Gulf coast to New York metropolitan region.
- Only the south east region of the US is more dependent on this line.
- The rest of the country has different sources.
- Colonial was forced to shut down operations after a cyberattack crippled its energy infrastructure.