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Iran Press TV

Major US pipeline halts operations after cyberattack

Iran Press TV

Saturday, 08 May 2021 6:09 PM

A major US pipeline has been forced to halt some of its operations due to a crippling cyberattack on its energy infrastructure.

Colonial Pipeline, which transfers gasoline and jet fuel from Texas to New York, said in a statement on late Friday that it was shuttering thousands of kilometers of pipeline network in an attempt to contain the security breach.

The company has already reached out to law enforcement and tapped a third-party company to conduct an investigation into the cyberattack.

"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 in its statement as quoted by media.

The company transports 2.5 million barrels per day of gasoline, diesel, jet fuel, and other refined products through 8,850 kilometers of pipelines, and transports 45% of East Coast fuel supply, including many of New York's major airports.

"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 in its statement.

The cyberattack on Colonial Pipeline comes months after a breach of SolarWinds by Russian intelligence operatives 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 attacks has been linked to the cybersecurity attack launched against Colonial Pipeline.

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