Colonial Pipeline restarted operations Wednesday afternoon after a ransomware attack forced the operator of the nation's largest fuel pipeline network to halt service along the Eastern Seaboard for six days, the company said in a press release. “Following this restart, it will take several days for the product delivery supply chain to return to normal,” the statement said. “Some markets served by Colonial Pipeline may experience, or continue to experience, intermittent service interruptions during the start-up period. Colonial will move as much gasoline, diesel, and jet fuel as is safely possible and will continue to do so until markets return to normal.”
“We just got off the phone with #ColonialPipeline CEO,” Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm said on Twitter shortly after Colonial’s announcement. “They are restarting pipeline operations today at ~5pm. More soon.” Colonial reportedly did not pay the ransom demanded by DarkSide, the shadowy hacking group believed to have been behind the attack, and now will not need to do so, according to CNN, which cited a Colonial spokesperson as saying the hackers did not appear to have compromised the company's operational technology systems. Several states experienced gas shortages over the past few days, but experts said any scarcity was largely due to panicked consumers hoarding fuel rather than a significant supply disruption.