According to Granholm, the problem peaked Thursday night, and service in the majority of areas should be restored by the end of the weekend in an interview with the Associated Press on Friday.
“The good news is that the outages of… the gas stations are 12 percent smaller than the worst,” she said Friday afternoon, adding that approximately 200 stations return to service every hour. “It will continue to work its way through the system over the next few days, but we should be back to normal soon.”
On May 7, the Colonial Pipeline was attacked by hackers who locked up computers and demanded a ransom to unlock them. Although the hackers did not take control of the pipeline, the Georgian company shut it down to prevent malware from interfering with industrial control systems.
The Colonial pipeline, which runs from Texas to New Jersey, provides about 45 percent of the East Coast’s fuel. The shutdown triggered a fuel shortage in the South and left Washington, D.C. gas stations bare.
Despite the fact that the US administration disagrees with Russia’s government, President Joe Biden stated that “the perpetrators of the attack are living in Russia, and we have good reason to believe.”
Colonial announced “significant change,” and two people briefed on the situation said on Friday that Colonial was paying a $5 million ransom.
Granholm, like other Biden officials, cautioned drivers not to panic or stockpile gasoline.
“The fuel is on its way,” she announced. “Taking more than you need creates a self-fulfilling prophecy of scarcity.” Let us tell our families, and everyone should know that everything will be fine in a few days. “
The federal response to the ransomware attack is being led by Granholm’s office. She claims that the incident demonstrates not only the vulnerability of US infrastructure but also the vulnerability of personal computers. Granholm recently revealed that her 86-year-old mother was the victim of a ransomware attack on her iPad.
“Everything is happening,” she said. “Both the cloud and our network are vehicles for these cybercriminals.” As a result, we must all exercise extreme caution. This means we need security features on our phones and can avoid clicking on e-mail from people we don’t know. I say it’s just around the corner. “
Biden signed a cybersecurity executive order this week, stating that the Department of Energy and other agencies are working to secure critical infrastructure.
The majority of pipeline infrastructure in the United States, including Colonial, is owned by private companies. This week, the chairman of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, which regulates interstate pipelines, said that the United States will be able to impose mandatory cyber-security protections for pipelines in the same way that it does for electricity.
“In light of the increasing number and sophistication of malicious cyber actors,” said FERC President Richard Glick, “it is not enough to encourage pipelines to voluntarily adopt best practices.”
“We certainly need to look into that,” Granholm said on Friday, referring to pipeline organizations’ voluntary criteria. “Although it is private, it is used by the general public.”As a result, I believe that we should look into this and ensure that they are the most recent and strongest.”
The Oil Pipe Lines Association’s spokesperson, John Stoody, refused to comment on Glick’s proposal. Historically, the sector has been immune to government cybersecurity mandates.
Granholm contends that when analyzing Biden’s $2.3 trillion infrastructure plan, Congress should consider ransomware attacks.
“Obviously, pipelines should be considered,” she said. “Cybersecurity should be included.” Transmission grids and other energy resources should be included. We need to upgrade it, and hopefully, the nation’s infrastructure can be upgraded with bipartisan support. “
Granholm | Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter @njtimesofficial. To get latest updates