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Six tankers to ship gasoline to US from Europe following a cyberattack that shut down top US pipeline.

Image Credit: Reuters

Six tankers were booked to ship gasoline to United States from Europe as Friday’s cyber attack on US top fuel pipeline network forced it to shut down its operations. The company Colonial Pipeline is responsible for 45% of East Coast’s supply of diesel, petrol and jet fuel. This is equivalent to 2.5 million barrels of oil a day.

Colonial pipeline had to shut down the whole pipeline system on Friday due to the attack on its IT infrastructure. On Sunday, smaller lines have been restarted, but it is not enough to cope with an increased demand. The company said that it cannot provide a timeline when it can fully resume its operations.

The gasoline shortage in the US East coast is forcing consumers to head to fuel stations to stock up on fuel, as price hikes are also expected. So far, gasoline prices have remained unchanged, but this could change if the shutdown is prolonged. It is expected that the average gas prices may end up well above $3 a gallon, taking it to pre-pandemic levels.

The attack was believed to have been conducted by a criminal gang known as DarkSide. They took almost 100 Gigabytes of data ‘hostage’, threatening to leak it to the public. FBI and other government agencies worked together to deal with the attackers. The cloud computing system the hackers were using to collect the stolen data was taken offline on Saturday.

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