The company says that it would still take several days for the system to be fully operational.
Colonial Pipeline restarted operations late Wednesday afternoon, following a shutdown initiated after a ransomware attack. However, the company says that it would still take several days for the system to be fully operational.
“Following this restart it will take several days for the product delivery supply chain to return to normal,” Colonial said in a statement. “Some markets served by Colonial Pipeline may experience, or continue to experience, intermittent service interruptions during the start-up period.
Colonial will move as much gasoline, diesel, and jet fuel as is safely possible and will continue to do so until markets return to normal,” the company added.
Reports came out Thursday morning that Colonial Pipeline paid the hackers $5 million:
The company paid the hefty ransom in untraceable cryptocurrency within hours after the attack, underscoring the immense pressure faced by the Georgia-based operator to get gasoline and jet fuel flowing again to major cities along the Eastern Seaboard, those people said. A third person familar with the situation said U.S. government officials are aware that Colonial made the payment.
Once they received the payment, the hackers provided the operator with a decrypting tool to restore its disabled computer network. The tool was so slow that the company continued using its own backups to help restore the system, one of the people familiar with the company’s efforts said.
A representative from Colonial declined to comment, as did a spokesperson for the National Security Council.
Several areas along the East Coast are struggling with shortages.
…[P]rice gougers in Virginia have been busted charging up to $6.99 per gallon, and police in Charlotte are warning residents to ‘limit non-essential travel’ as more than 70 percent of gas stations in the city run dry.
In metro Atlanta, more than 60 percent of gas stations had no fuel on Wednesday, and the rate exceeded 70 percent in Raleigh, North Carolina and Pensacola, Florida.
The impact of the crisis is rippling across the country, with the national average price of gas exceeding $3 for the first time since 2014, after the Colonial Pipeline was disabled by a Russian ransomware attack on Friday.
The shortages have to impact the already high prices on the West Coast as well.
“It will be more regional, so really impacting drivers in the South East, mostly, and on the East Coast. But of course whenever there is a major shutdown of a system somewhere in the country, we could feel some of the impact here in California,” said Doug Shupe with Auto Club of Southern California.
Gas prices have already been rising steadily in SoCal as gas stations had to switch to the summer blend, which is required in California, back on April 1. That tacked an extra 15-20 cents onto every gallon of gas. In addition, demand has driven prices up as well.
Until the supply chain is sorted out, Americans will use gallows humor, memes, and hashtags to help get them through shortages.
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