The Colonial Pipeline Attack Could Lead to Real Change in Cybersecurity Policy

Hackers infiltrated the Colonial Pipeline’s systems, held its data hostage for a $5 million ransom, and in the process, triggered local gas shortages across the eastern U.S. In response, politicians began talking about needed reform to protect critical infrastructure. Cybersecurity experts say talk is common around such initiatives, but because of the recent attack’s impact on the everyday lives of Americans, legislators may finally be ready to make real changes.

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The Colonial Pipeline Is Back Online

After five days that saw Virginia’s gasoline availability plummet, the Colonial Pipeline is fully-operational as of Thursday evening. But the company says not to expect supplies to return to normal immediately.

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Florida Enters State of Emergency Amid Gas Shortage

Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) Tuesday evening declared a state of emergency and activated the Florida National Guard amid a gas shortage that is wreaking havoc along the eastern seaboard. 

The order, which directs state officials to work with the federal government and loosens restrictions for truckers from out of state to bring gasoline into Florida, is in effect after a group of hackers called DarkSide executed a ransomware attack on Colonial Pipeline. 

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Cyber Attack Hampers Gas Delivery in Virginia

Tennessee Star

A major pipeline used to deliver gasoline to the eastern U.S. has been shutdown by hackers, leading to higher gas prices and decreased availability in some areas of Virginia. The Colonial Pipeline was targeted by a ransomware cyber attack on Friday, and the company took some systems offline in response, leading to the pipeline shutdown.

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Georgia Suspends Gas Tax Amid Shortage

Gov. Brian Kemp (R) Tuesday signed an executive order temporarily eliminating the Peach State’s gas tax, among other measures, after a cyber attack on the Colonial Pipeline has halted gas flow to much of the southeast. 

“Today I signed an executive order suspending the gas tax in Georgia to help with higher prices as a result of the Colonial cyber attack. We are working closely with Colonial and expect for them to recover by the end of the week,” Kemp said on Twitter, attaching an official statement from his office. 

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