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Major US Pipeline Halts Operations After Cyberattack

(The Hill) – One of the largest pipelines in the U.S. was forced to halt some of its operations Friday after a crippling cyberattack on its energy infrastructure.

Colonial Pipeline, which funnels refined gasoline and jet fuel from Texas to New York, said in a statement late Friday that it was shuttering 5,500 miles of pipeline in an attempt to contain the breach.

The company has already reached out to law enforcement and tapped a third-party company to conduct an investigation into the attack, though it did not reveal who it believes is behind the breach.

“On May 7, the Colonial Pipeline Company learned it was the victim of a cybersecurity attack. In response, we proactively took certain systems offline to contain the threat, which has temporarily halted all pipeline operations, and affected some of our IT systems. Upon learning of the issue, a leading, third-party cybersecurity firm was engaged, and they have already launched an investigation into the nature and scope of this incident, which is ongoing,” the company said.

“Colonial Pipeline is taking steps to understand and resolve this issue. At this time, our primary focus is the safe and efficient restoration of our service and our efforts to return to normal operation. This process is already underway, and we are working diligently to address this matter and to minimize disruption to our customers and those who rely on Colonial Pipeline,” the company added.

The attack struck a company that transports 2.5 million barrels each day, supplying fuel from the Gulf Coast to New York Harbor and many of New York’s major airports, according to The New York Times.

The attack on Colonial Pipeline comes months after an intrusion by Russian intelligence operatives targeting SolarWinds and another hack by Chinese agents against Microsoft. Those attacks focused on data theft but created openings for operatives to target physical infrastructure in the future.

Neither of those hacks has been tied to the breach against Colonial Pipeline.

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