Developing story, updates below
A ransomware attack against one of the U.S. top fuel pipeline operators, Colonial Pipeline, has forced the shutdown of its network, the company said in a statement.
Colonial Pipeline provides millions of gallons of gasoline each day to over fourteen different U.S. states, making it one of the largest U.S. gas pipelines. The company has had to shut down its 5,500 miles of pipeline to contain the cyberattack.
In a statement released on Friday, Colonial Pipeline says that it “learned it was the victim of a cybersecurity attack. We have since determined that this incident involves ransomware. In response, we proactively took certain systems offline to contain the threat, which has temporarily halted all pipeline operations and affected some of our I.T. systems.”
Colonial Pipeline later confirmed that it was the victim of a ransomware attack, in which the victim’s data is encrypted until a ransom demand has been met. A private cybersecurity firm, FireEye, has been hired to investigate and manage the incident response.
The cyberattack against such important infrastructure highlights the risk and vulnerability that both federal and private companies hold. It is expected that the U.S. government will be issuing broad-range executive orders to strengthen and protect critical infrastructure and industries. The reforms come as part of a 100-day initiative to fortify the country’s electricity systems from future cyberattacks.