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The closure of a major fuel pipeline in the United States after it was subjected to a cyber attack

The main pipeline carrying gasoline and diesel fuel to the east coast of the United States has been closed by the operator after it was subjected to a cyber attack, according to Fox News.

Colonial Pipeline operates a 5,500-mile Colonial pipeline system to transport fuel from Gulf Coast refineries to the New York metro area, and said on Friday it learned that it had been a victim of the attack and had put some systems back offline to contain the threat, which temporarily halted all operations. pipe lines.

Analysts said the outage is not expected to have a major impact on fuel markets unless the pipeline remains closed for several days.

The cyber attack on Colonial appears to have included ransomware, a type of code that attempts to hijack computer systems and demands payment from the victim to unlock them, according to a person familiar with the matter and said the investigation is in its early stages.

The company said it hired a third-party cybersecurity company to help with the issue, which affected some of its IT systems, and contacted federal agencies and law enforcement authorities.

FireEye, a US-based cybersecurity company, is investigating the attack, according to people familiar with the matter, and a spokesperson for the company declined to comment.

The report indicated that it was not clear whether the attack was committed by a nation-state or a criminal entity, as cyberattacks are difficult and could take months or more.

The Colonial Pipeline is the largest refined product pipeline in the United States, transporting more than 100 million gallons per day, or nearly 45 percent of the spent fuel, on the East Coast, according to the company's website. It provides fuel, including gasoline, diesel, jet fuel, and heating oil, and serves US military installations.