colonial pipeline

Virginia Declares State of Emergency After Colonial Pipeline Cyberattack

A sign is seen at Colonial Pipeline Baltimore Delivery in Baltimore, Maryland on May 10, 2021. - The US government declared a regional emergency Son May 9, 2021 as the largest fuel pipeline system in the United States remained largely shut down, two days after a major ransomware attack was detected. The Colonial Pipeline Company ships gasoline and jet fuel from the Gulf Coast of Texas to the populous East Coast through 5,500 miles (8,850 kilometers) of pipeline, serving 50 million consumers. The company said it was the victim of a cybersecurity attack involving ransomware -- attacks that encrypt computer systems and seek to extract payments from operators. (Photo by JIM WATSON / AFP) (Photo by JIM WATSON/AFP via Getty Images)

Virginia declared a state of emergency in response to the cyberattack that shut down a gasoline pipeline.

Gov. Ralph Northam signed an executive order Tuesday addressing gas supply distribution after a cyberattack shut down the Colonial Pipeline system, which is the primary source for many Virginia gas stations.

The emergency declaration lets state agencies issue waivers to increase gas supply.

“This emergency declaration will help the commonwealth prepare for any potential supply shortages and ensure Virginia motorists have access to fuel as we respond to this evolving situation,” Northam said.

In Maryland, the state’s energy and emergency planning teams are monitoring any impacts from the disruption to the pipeline, Gov. Larry Hogan said Tuesday afternoon on Twitter.

“While the operators of the pipeline currently anticipate that the disruption is likely to be short-term, we are prepared for all contingencies,” he said.

Maryland drivers should proceed as normal for now, Hogan said.

The Environmental Protection Agency issued an emergency fuel waiver Tuesday to help with fuel shortages in Virginia and other states affected by the pipeline shutdown. The waiver will continue through May 18.

Colonial Pipeline stopped operations Friday and notified federal officials that it was the victim of a ransomware attack. The attack, carried out by a criminal cyber crime group known as DarkSide, resulted in the shutdown of 5,500 miles of pipeline. The artery supplies half of the gasoline to the east coast and runs from Texas to New Jersey.

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