Colonial Pipeline said its main fuel lines remained offline after the attack that shut the system on , but some smaller lines between terminals and delivery points were now operational. Though accusing fingers were pointing towards Russia, but it has denied all allegations of being responsible on the alleged pipelines cyberattack.
President Joe Biden in reaction to the attach said that his administration was prepared to take additional steps as the energy sector grapples with a colossal cyber attack targeting one of the largest fuel pipelines in the nation.
“The Colonial Pipeline hack headlines over the weekend have lifted oil prices,” said Jeffrey Halley, analyst at brokerage OANDA. “Colonial aside, oil may be vulnerable to some abrupt long-covering sell-offs as the week progresses.”
Brent crude was up by 31 cents, or 0.5%, at $68.59 a barrel by 0820 GMT. U.S West Texas Intermediate futures (WTI) crude rose by 46 cents, or 0.7%, at $65.36. Both benchmarks rose more than 1% last week, their second consecutive weekly gain.
“The major takeaway is the bad guys are very adept at finding new ways to penetrate infrastructure,” Andrew Lipow, president of Lipow Oil Associates told Reuters.
“Infrastructure has not developed defenses that can offset all the different ways that malware can infect one’s system.”
The White House was working closely with Colonial to help it to recover.
Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo said the pipeline fix was a top priority for the Biden administration and Washington was working to avoid more severe supply disruptions.
Oil has risen 33% this year due to supply cuts by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and allies, known as OPEC+, and easing coronavirus movement restrictions in the U.S. and Europe.
While some analysts have said oil demand may never reach pre-pandemic levels, Goldman Sachs said it expected this by the end of the year and predicted Brent would hit $80 and WTI $77 within six months.
The cyberattack is believed to be carried out by the criminal cyber group known as DarkSide, forced the company to shut down approximately 5,500 miles of pipeline, leading to a disruption of nearly half of the nation’s East Coast fuel supply. Ransomware attacks involve malware that encrypts files on a device or network that results in the system becoming inoperable. Criminals behind these types of cyberattacks typically demand a ransom in exchange for the release of data.
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