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East Coast pipeline shut down by cyberattack operated by Ga. company

Updated -- Statement from Governor's office -

Gov. Kemp Signs Executive Order to Temporarily Suspend Gas Tax in Georgia


Atlanta, GA – Today Governor Brian P. Kemp signed an executive order to temporarily suspend the gas tax in Georgia in light of the Colonial Pipeline cyber attack. The Governor also announced that Georgia is increasing the weight limits for trucks transporting fuel, providing more supply for stations as they receive deliveries. The order further prohibits price gouging by bad actors looking to exploit the situation.


“My office has been in close contact with company and industry officials since we first learned of the Colonial cyber attack over the weekend," said Governor Kemp. "Unfortunately, extensive media coverage has caused people to panic which has resulted in higher gas prices. We are taking action to relieve some of the cost burden from Georgians as Colonial recovers by suspending fuel taxes, increasing the weight limit for supply trucks, and prohibiting price gouging.


"We expect these measures to be temporary as Colonial plans to be fully up and running later this week. There is no need to rush to the gas station to fill up every tank you have and hoard gas. With the measures we have taken today, I am hopeful we can get more supply to stations and get through to this weekend when we hope Colonial will return to normal."


Original Story

By Dave Williams

Bureau Chief

Capitol Beat News Service

    ATLANTA - Gasoline prices could be headed up at the start of the summer driving season following the shutdown of a major pipeline hit by a cyberattack.

   Alpharetta-based Colonial Pipeline reported Friday it was the victim of an attack involving ransomware that forced one of the largest fuel transport systems in the nation to halt most of its operations. Colonial’s 5,500-mile pipeline system runs from Texas to New Jersey.

   Colonial has hired independent cybersecurity experts to determine the nature and scope of the ransomware attack and put an operations team to work developing a system restart plan with a goal of “substantially restoring operational service” by the end of this week, the company wrote in an update Monday.



Colonial has hired independent cybersecurity experts to determine the nature and scope of the ransomware attack and put an operations team to work developing a system restart plan.


While four main lines remain out of service, some smaller lines connecting terminals with delivery points are now operational.


The full system will not be restored until Colonial officials believe it is safe to do so and in full compliance with federal regulations, the company stated. The U.S. Department of Energy is leading the federal response.


Ransomware attacks have become a growing problem for both government and private sector computer systems. In ransomware attacks, hackers block access to an organization's computers and threaten to keep them blocked and/or publish sensitive private information unless a ransom is paid.


In one example, a ransomware attack in 2018 affected nearly 3,800 city of Atlanta computers, forcing the city to shut down its court system and delay many other services.


The perpetrators demanded a ransom of $51,000 in Bitcoin to restore access to the computer systems they had encrypted, which the city refused to pay. A federal grand jury indicted two Iranian nationals in the attack later that year.