The Biden administration is working with Colonial Pipeline to restore service ‘quickly’ after a ransomware attack on the country’s top fuel pipeline operator

A 2016 file photo shows an overhead view of Colonial Pipeline in Helena, Alaska.
In this Sept. 20, 2016 file photo vehicles are seen near Colonial Pipeline in Helena, Alaska.

  • The Biden administration is working with Colonial Pipeline to get service restored, a top official said.
  • It’s “all hands on deck” following the ransomware attack on Colonial, said Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo.
  • Colonial Pipeline transports approximately 45% of all fuel consumed on the East Coast.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Operations at the largest US refined fuel pipeline, Colonial Pipeline, remained shut down on Sunday following a ransomware attack, but the Biden administration is working with the company to quickly get operations back to normal, a top official said.

Colonial said Saturday it had halted operations on its 5,500 miles of pipeline from Texas to the East Coast following a cyber attack and was working to restore service as quickly as possible. Colonial’s pipelines transport approximately 45% of all fuel consumed on the East Coast.

Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo told CBS’ “Face the Nation” that President Biden had been briefed on the incident.

“It’s an all hands on deck effort right now,” Raimondo said. “We are working closely with the company, state and local officials to, you know, make sure that they get back up to normal operations as quickly as possible and there aren’t disruptions in supply.”

Colonial Pipeline is the country’s largest refined products pipeline operator, transporting more than 100 million gallons of gasoline, diesel, jet fuel, and home heating oil, daily. It also serves seven airports, including Atlanta’s Hartsfield Jackson Airport.

Colonial has not said when it expects to restore service but a prolonged shutdown could roil fuel markets, disrupt supply to the East Coast and cause the price of gasoline to jump just as coronavirus pandemic restrictions lift and Americans begin summer travel.

Cybersecurity experts have long warned that critical parts of the national infrastructure could be vulnerable to a cyber attack. The Biden administration last month rolled out an initiative to ramp up the cybersecurity of the nation’s power grid.

Raimondo said addressing the threat of cyber attacks on businesses and infrastructure is a “top priority for the administration.”

“Unfortunately, these sorts of attacks are becoming more frequent,” she said. “They’re here to stay and we have to work in partnership with businesses to secure- secure networks, to defend ourselves against these attacks.”

Colonial said the attack on its system involved ransomware but it did not give further details or suggest who might have carried it out. It said it has hired a third-party cybersecurity firm.

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