Gov. Cooper issues State of Emergency after Colonial Pipeline cyberattack to ensure adequate supply of fuel across NC

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Read Executive Order No. 213 here

RALEIGH, N.C. (WGHP) — Governor Roy Cooper signed an Executive Order on Monday declaring a State of Emergency in North Carolina in response to the temporary shutdown of the Colonial Pipeline after a cyberattack over the weekend.

Under the State of Emergency, motor vehicle fuel regulations are temporarily suspended to ensure adequate fuel supply throughout NC.

The FBI confirmed ransomware used to disable a vital oil pipeline in the United States belongs to a notorious group that has infected other computer systems previously, known as DarkSide.

The Colonial Pipeline transports gasoline and other fuel through 10 states between Texas and New Jersey. It delivers roughly 45% of the fuel consumed on the East Coast, according to the company.

At the moment, though, officials said there is no fuel shortage.

Colonial Pipeline said Saturday that it had been hit by a ransomware attack and had halted all pipeline operations to deal with the threat. DarkSide cultivates a Robin Hood image of stealing from corporations and giving a cut to charity. The FBI has investigated this ransomware variant since October 2020.

Colonial believes they have not suffered permanent damage and could bring the pipeline back online “quickly,” Homeland Security Advisor Liz Sherwood-Randall said at Monday’s White House news briefing. Colonial believes that can happen by the end of the week.

Sherwood-Randall said the government would help states affected by any supply problems, but says there is not a supply issue right now. Colonial is responsible for restoring the pipeline to working order, she said.

Deputy National Security Advisor for Cyber and Emerging Technology Anne Neuberger said the decision of whether to pay the ransom will be left to Colonial, and the U.S. has not offered guidance.

President Joe Biden Monday said there was no evidence so far that Russia was involved in the cyberattack, though there is evidence that the hackers’ ransomware is in Moscow.

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