The cyberattack on the Colonial Pipeline company last week that resulted in the shutdown of the longest gas and diesel pipeline in the US has stretched into its fifth day, and it brings with it shortages and energy uncertainty.
A state of emergency has been declared in North Carolina, where extended fuel lines prompted Governor Cooper to issue an executive order which halted some fuel regulations in order to make sure there was enough gas statewide.
Reports flooded into Twitter from drivers who were seeking to fill up their tanks, and were unable to do so.
It was reported on Tuesday that part of that pipeline was already coming back online and under manual control. Colonial made a statement that the pipeline will be brought back online piecemeal. They said that they intend to "substantially restore all service by the weekend."
The company has contracted with an outside firm to deal with the hack, which the White House said was a private matter.
President Biden said that while the Russian government isn't believed to be involved in the attack, the DarkSide ransomware group does operate from Russia. NPR reports that DarkSide currently has 10 attacks that are affecting American corporate entities. Many companies simply pay the money, while other companies, that have their data backed up, refuse to do so. This typically prompts a new threat from the hackers that they would release the information publicly.
Speaking to reporters on Monday, deputy national security advisor for cyber and emerging technologies Anne Neuberger said that "We recognize that victims of cyberattacks often face a very difficult situation and they have to just balance often the cost-benefit when they have no choice with regards to paying a ransom. Colonial is a private company and we'll defer information regarding their decision on paying a ransom to them."
Colonial's statement read that "Colonial Pipeline is taking steps to understand and resolve this issue. At this time, our primary focus is the safe and efficient restoration of our service and our efforts to return to normal operation. 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."
The shortages and shutdowns have led to speculation that a gas price hike is on the way, just in time for summer driving season.