The operator of the nation’s largest gasoline pipeline on Saturday, May 15, announced that it has resumed “normal operations”, delivering fuel to its market including a large swath of the East Coast. The Colonial Pipeline said, “Since that time, we have returned the system to normal operations, delivering millions of gallons per hour to the markets we serve”. The markets include Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Tennessee, Georgia, South and North Carolina, Virginia, Maryland, Washington D.C., Delaware, Pennsylvania and New Jersey.
According to the reports by AP, the company also said, “All of these markets are now receiving product from our pipeline”. It added, noting how its employees across the pipeline “worked safely and tirelessly around the clock to get our lines up and running”.
Energy Secretary, Jennifer Granholm, while speaking to AP said that the nation is “over the hump” on gas shortages as about 200 stations return to service every hour. “It’s still going to work its way through the system over the next few days, but we should be back to normal fairly soon”, she said. Multiple sources have confirmed to AP that Colonial Pipeline had paid the criminals who committed the cyberattack a ransom of nearly $5 million in cryptocurrency. This was done for the software decryption key required to unscramble their data network.
The ransomware gang accused of crippling the US fuel pipeline operator acknowledged the incident in a public statement on May 10. On its website, DarkSide wrote that it never meant to create havoc or create a problem for society. They did not directly mention Colonial Pipeline but under the heading “About the latest news” DarkSide explicitly stated that “our goal is to make money”.