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Colonial Pipeline Restarts after Hack; Supplies Will Take Several Days to Rebound

A friend carrying a gas container greets a motorist waiting in a lengthy line to enter a station during a surge in the demand for fuel following the cyberattack that crippled the Colonial Pipeline, in Durham, N.C., May 12, 2021. REUTERS/ (Jonathan Drake/Reuters)

The Colonial Pipeline resumed operation Wednesday evening, though its operators announced it could take several days for the supply chain to return to normal.

“Some markets served by Colonial Pipeline may experience, or continue to experience, intermittent service interruptions during the start-up period,” the company said on its website.

Colonial, which says it transports roughly 45 percent of fuel consumed on the East Coast, became aware on Friday that it had fallen victim to a ransomware attack and “took certain systems offline to contain the threat, which has temporarily halted all pipeline operations.”

Hackers, identified as the Russian hacking group Darkside, had demanded millions in ransom money from the pipeline operator, which refused to pay. The operator instead received assistance from the Department of Energy and federal, state, and local authorities.

Colonial had opened segments of the pipeline manually over the past few days to relieve some supply pressures in a handful of states, including Maryland and New Jersey, according to the New York Times. The pipeline runs from Texas to New Jersey.

Gas prices in some affected states, including Georgia, rose 8 to 10 cents a gallon on Wednesday as a result of shortages created by the pipeline’s closures.

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