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Largest U.S. fuel pipeline is still offline from ransomware attack

Some gas stations are running out of gas and gas prices are starting to rise above $3 gallon as the pipeline remains offline.

The Colonial Pipeline is still offline days after a ransomware attack.​

The Colonial Pipeline is still offline days after a ransomware attack.

Photo: Leonhard Lenz via Wikimedia Commons

The Colonial Pipeline, which carries more than 100 million gallons of refined fuel across the eastern U.S. every day, is still offline from a ransomware attack that shut the pipeline Friday, and gas prices are starting to rise.

Some gas stations in Virginia ran out of gas Tuesday, and prices are starting to climb across the East Coast. The Biden administration issued an emergency declaration Monday allowing fuel drivers to add extra or more-flexible hours and increase fuel transport by road in order to compensate for the outage. The FBI also confirmed Monday that the Darkside ransomware is responsible for the outage.

Darkside posted its own response to the news Monday, claiming to be an apolitical organization and appearing to admit to the attack. "We do not participate in geopolitics, do not need to tie us with a defined government and look for our motives," the statement said. "Our goal is to make money, and not creating problems for society. From today we introduce moderation and check each company that our partners want to encrypt to avoid social consequences in the future."

The Biden administration has been drafting a new executive order to strengthen U.S. defenses against ransomware attacks over the last month, and the latest attack has prompted a reckoning over whether the actions in the planned order go far enough, according to The New York Times.

The country's largest pipeline network is working to restore service one section at a time and aims to have most of the pipelines operational by the end of the week. The pipeline typically carries about 45% of the East Coast's diesel, car and airplane fuel.

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