The United States Government issued unprecedented action Sunday in the wake of a cyber attack by the Russian group Darkside of the Internet infrastructure of the Colonial Pipeline.
The operator took itself offline Friday as a result of the attack and work to restore service is ongoing.
The hackers began by stealing nearly 100 gigabytes of data from the pipeline’s network on Thursday, and then on Friday proceeded to shut down computers and demand payment to have them restored, Bloomberg reports.
Darkside released a statement on its website saying, “Our goal is to make money and not creating problems for society.”
Meanwhile, the government has loosened restrictions that regulate the flow of the much needed fuel across 18 Southeastern states including Mississippi. Drivers can, for the time being, work longer and more flexible hours to expedite the flow of fuel and processed petroleum products.
Over 50% of the nation’s crude oil is processed across the Gulf Coast region. The Colonial Pipeline originates near Houston and stretches to New York. It remains to be seen what the long term effects of the shutdown will have on fuel and other oil related prices. As of Monday morning crude oil prices are holding steady with no significant price increase. Click here to read the action from U.S. Department of Transportation.