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Cyberattack shuts down massive 5,500-mile pipeline that transports 45% of East Coast’s fuel

HOUSTON — A cyberattack has forced the shutdown of a massive 5,500-mile pipeline that runs between Houston, Texas, and Linden, New Jersey.

Colonial Pipeline Company announced Saturday that halting its pipeline operations — which connects refineries with customers throughout the East Coast and South — will affect some of its IT customers.

“Upon learning of the issue, a leading, third-party cybersecurity firm was engaged, and they have already launched an investigation into the nature and scope of this incident, which is ongoing. We have contacted law enforcement and other federal agencies,” the statement read.

According to the company website, Colonial is the largest refined products pipeline in the U.S. and transports approximately 45% of all fuel consumed by the East Coast. This fuel includes gasoline, diesel fuel, home heating oil, jet fuel and fuels for the U.S. military.

The company said it is taking steps to resolve this issue.

“At this time, our primary focus is the safe and efficient restoration of our service and our efforts to return to normal operation. This process is already underway, and we are working diligently to address this matter and to minimize disruption to our customers and those who rely on Colonial Pipeline,” the statement read.

The party behind the cyberattack is unknown. The FBI typically leads these sort of investigations.

The video in the media player above was used in a previous report.

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