Gas prices reached a national average of $2.985 on Tuesday as the Colonial Pipeline shut down due to continued cyber attacks on their systems. The last time prices were this high was in 2014 during the Obama Administration.
The Colonial Pipeline is the largest fuel pipeline in the country, stretching over 5,500 miles from New Jersey to Texas supplying 45% of the East Coast.
They are also responsible for transporting 100 million gallons of gas, diesel, home heating oil, and jet fuel a day, and it supplies the U.S. military.
Currently, the company is trying to get back online as they’re on their fifth day of the shutdown.
The FBI confirmed the cyber attack came from the Russian hacker group, DarkSide.
Russian President, Vladimir Putin, denied any involvement. One of his representatives said, “Russia has nothing to do with these hacker attacks, and had nothing to do with the previous hacker attacks. We categorically do not accept any accusations against us.”
DarkSide’s type of attack is called “ransomware.” The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency’s definition, “Ransomware is an ever-evolving form of malware designed to encrypt files on a device, rendering any files and the systems that rely on them unusable. Malicious actors then demand ransom in exchange for decryption. Ransomware actors often target and threaten to sell or leak exfiltrated data or authentication information if the ransom is not paid. In recent years, ransomware incidents have become increasingly prevalent among the Nation’s state, local, tribal, and territorial (SLTT) government entities and critical infrastructure organizations.”
Across Florida, North Carolina, Georgia, and Virginia there are scenes of motorists lining up for hours waiting to fuel their vehicles.
A White House Spokesperson said, “The federal government is working actively to assess the implications of this incident, avoid disruption to supply, and help the company restore pipeline operations as quickly as possible.”