Colonial Pipeline shutdown


Map of the Colonial Pipeline

Iliana Patterson, Staff Writer

Recently, the Colonial Pipeline was shut down after a cyberattack from European hackers. The Colonial Pipeline delivers around 45% of the fuel consumed on the East Coast, though states in the Southeast are more dependent on it. Due to the shutdown of the pipeline, there we issues transporting the fuel from refineries on the Gulf Coast to the Southeastern states. Gas prices have been raised as many gas stations in the Southeast have begun to run low on fuel.

The group of hackers who shut down the Colonial Pipeline, demanded 5 million dollars to return information stolen from the company that owns the pipeline. And although the company claimed that they would not pay any ransom, it is unclear whether they truly did pay the ransom. Many government officials said that they were unsure if the Colonial Pipeline paid the ransom while other government officials such as President Joe Biden declined to comment on the situation. The Colonial Pipeline has also refused to comment on the ransom situation despite being repeatedly questioned on the situation.

Though government officials have stated that there will be enough gas as long as everyone remains calm, many citizens living in the Southeast panicked as gas prices have gone up and in some areas there are few gas stations open who have fuel available due to panic buying. There have been many picture and videos of people panic buying gasoline in large amounts, using things such as plastic bags and large storage bins to transport the fuel, which has only worsened this situation.

Government officials have been working to identify the hackers and have gotten the Colonial Pipeline up and running again. The hackers are believed to be a group of people who go by the group name ‘DarkSide’ and officials believe that they will be able to track down the hackers who cause this crisis.