Supplies of gasoline tightened further in parts of the United States today, as the shutdown of the nation’s biggest fuel pipeline by hackers entered its fifth day. It has raised concern about price spikes at the pumps heading into the summer driving season.
The Colonial Pipeline said, it was working to substantially resume operations by the end of this week. A cyberattack forced it to cease operations on Friday, choking off nearly half of the East Coast’s fuel supply.
The top U.S. energy regulator issued a call yesterday for mandatory cyber security standards for pipeline operators.
The FBI has accused a shadowy criminal gang called DarkSide for the ransomware attack. DarkSide is believed to be based in Russia or Eastern Europe, according to cyber experts. The cyber experts point out that it avoids targeting computers that use languages from former Soviet republics.
President Joe Biden said yesterday, that he did not believe Russia’s government had sponsored the hack.
Ransomware is a type of malware designed to lock computers by encrypting data and demanding payment to regain access. It is
unknown how much money the hackers are seeking, and Colonial has not commented on whether it would pay.
Fuel demand in the south-eastern United States, a region that relies heavily on the Colonial system, has already risen as consumers fear looming shortages.