U.S. declares state of emergency over pipeline shutdown after cyber attack

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A man jogs near the White House during the outbreak of COVID-19 in Washington D.C., the United States, April 1, 2020. The United States became the first nation with more than 200,000 COVID-19 infections on Wednesday, according to a new tally from Johns Hopkins University. (Xinhua/Liu Jie)

The White House on Sunday declared a state of emergency in 17 states and the District of Columbia in response to the shutdown of one of the largest pipelines in the United States.

The regional emergency declaration from the U.S. Department of Transportation lifts restrictions for motor carriers and drivers who are providing assistance to areas that are suffering shortages of refined petroleum products.

The main pipeline carrying gasoline and diesel fuel to U.S. east and southeast parts remained offline two days after a cybersecurity attack was detected, the pipeline’s operator said Sunday.

In a press release, the Colonial Pipeline Company said it has temporarily halted all pipeline operations after the cybersecurity attack involving ransomware was detected on Friday.”

The Colonial Pipeline operations team is developing a system restart plan,” said the release.

“While our mainlines remain offline, some smaller lateral lines between terminals and delivery points are now operational.

“The Colonial Pipeline transports more than 100 million gallons of fuel daily on the East Coast, supplying around 45 percent of fuel consumed by the area.

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