Americans Encounter Gas Lines and Shortages in Southeast After Ransomware Attack

Social media posts this week have been filled with photos and frustration as many Americans seeking to fill their cars and trucks with gas are running into long lines and fuel outages after a ransomware attack last week of the 5,500-mile Colonial Pipeline, which runs from Houston to New York.

The major fuel pipeline for the East Coast was shut down on Tuesday for the fifth day while the company, as well as the federal government, worked to get past the hack attack.

In such an attack, malicious software holds data or computer systems “hostage” until the attackers are paid a ransom. Only then do such hackers “restore” access. 

The U.S government is blaming a group of hackers based in Russia known as DarkSide.

The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), the federal civilian agency tasked with preventing and fighting cyberattacks, informed the Senate it’s waiting to receive technical information necessary to protect others from similar attacks, The Washington Times reported.

Yet on the ground, there are reports of panic buying and upset as the cost of a gallon of gas approached what it was more than six years ago, as The New York Post noted.

More than 1,000 gas stations in the Southeast ran dry of gas on Tuesday, The Post noted. Among the hardest hit states: North Carolina and Virginia.

Several governors have declared states of emergency.

The states of emergency allow for fuel transportation waivers so that states can aim to meet supply needs during this temporary period.

Colonia Pipeline says it has gas supplies—and it’s working on different ways to distribute that gasoline, Fox 8 reported, including manually delivering gallons to major cities in the Southeast.

Jennifer Granholm, the Biden administration’s energy secretary, said during a White House briefing earlier in the week that Colonial Pipeline planned to “restart” most operations by the end of the week—and that Americans should not panic during the “supply crunch,” as The Post reported.

“There should be no cause for hoarding gasoline,” she said, in part.

See these tweets with more information and reaction—including anger at the Biden administration for allowing this situation to happen in the first place:

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—By CNJ Staff

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