The Colonial Pipeline Company has restarted its gas pipeline after it was shut down last Friday (May 7) due to a ransomware attack. The company said that it resumed operations around 5 p.m. ET but cautioned it will take several days before supplies begin to return to normal.
The 5,500-mile network of pipes supplies approximately 45% of fuel used across the East Coast.
"Some markets served by Colonial Pipeline may experience, or continue to experience, intermittent service interruptions during the start-up period," the pipeline company said in a statement.
The restarting of the pipeline comes as many gas stations across the Southeast were forced to close down after running out of fuel. There were long lines that stretched into the street at stations that still had gasoline in their tanks.
The long lines created some tensions and, in at least one case, a fistfight broke out between customers at a gas station in North Carolina.
The shutdown also caused a spike in the price of gasoline, which rose by as much as ten cents in some areas.
According to a report by the Washington Post, the company does not intend to pay the ransom demand. Instead, Colonial Pipeline is working with the cybersecurity firm Mandiantto to recover the data and rebuild the systems that were affected by the hackers.
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