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Colonial Pipeline begins restarting pipeline operations following ransomware attack

Pipeline resumes operations amid gas shortage
Pipeline resumes operations as gas shortages plague South 03:46

Colonial Pipeline announced Wednesday that it has begun restarting pipeline operations after a cyberattack forced the company to take some of its systems offline last Friday. News of the attack sparked panic in some regions of the country, with residents lining up at the pump over fears of a gas shortage. 

The company said it initiated the restart at approximately 5 p.m., but warned that it will take "several days" for operations to return to normal. 

"Some markets served by Colonial Pipeline may experience, or continue to experience, intermittent service interruptions during the start-up period," the company said in a statement. "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." 

The company first announced the hack on Friday, saying it learned it had been a victim of a cybersecurity attack and "proactively took certain systems offline to contain the threat, which has temporarily halted all pipeline operations, and affected some of our IT systems." A day later, the company said it had "determined that this incident involves ransomware." 

The FBI said Monday that the attack was the work of a criminal gang known as DarkSide. Colonial Pipeline said an outside security firm is investigating the incident. 

The decision to take the company's systems offline led to long lines in some states this week, with gas prices in some areas hitting a nearly seven-year high. The 5,500-mile pipeline supplies about 45% of the East Coast's fuel.

Resuming operations will likely ease tensions among consumers that began boiling over on Wednesday. One North Carolina driver told CBS News she waited for an hour and fifteen minutes to get gas with her tank nearly empty. According to Gasbuddy, 68% of gas stations across North Carolina are out of gas, and almost half of the stations are out in Georgia, South Carolina, and Virginia. 

Manuel Bojorquez contributed reporting. 

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