Colonial Pipeline Shuts Down Entire Network After Cyberattack

Jet fuel tanks are seen outside JFK International Airport in New York June 4, 2007. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton

Top U.S. fuel pipeline operator Colonial Pipeline has shut its entire network after a cyberattack, the company said in a statement on Friday.

Colonial’s network supplies fuel from U.S refiners on the Gulf Coast to the populous eastern and southern United States. The company transports 2.5 million barrels per day of gasoline, diesel, jet fuel and other refined products through 5,500 miles of pipelines.

Colonial Pipeline says it transports 45 percent of East Coast fuel supply.

In a subsequent statement Saturday it blamed ransomware.

“We have since determined that this incident involves ransomware,” Colonial Pipeline said. “In response, we proactively took certain systems offline to contain the threat, which has temporarily halted all pipeline operations, and affected some of our IT systems.”

The company learned of the attack on Friday and took systems offline to contain the threat, it said in the Friday statement. That action has temporarily halted operations and affected some of its IT systems, it said.

The attack was under investigation by “a leading, third-party cybersecurity firm,” the company said Saturday.

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SOURCE: NBC News; Reuters, Dennis Romero