Nation feels effects of pipeline ransomware attack

Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm announced the company that runs the Colonial Pipeline still hasn’t determined when it will be safe to restart the pipeline as demand for gas rose nationwide.
3:51 | 05/12/21

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Transcript for Nation feels effects of pipeline ransomware attack
growing concern across this country after that massive cyber attack on this country's biggest fuel pipeline, from Texas all the way up to New Jersey. Tnight, the lines growing at gas stations and more than 1,000 gas stations have now run out of gas. Prices at the pump already going up and the FBI confirming they believe a criminal gang based in Russia is to blame for this. Drivers waiting in those long lines to fill up.pthis is a Costco in Raleigh, North Carolina. With increasing demand up 20% in 24 hours, prices now climbing. Tonight, some gas stations setting a limit on just how much gas you can buy. In parts of the east and in the south. Some gas stations have already run dry. And experts warn panic buying is only making things worse. And tonight, American airlines, for one, already signaling that their longer flights may require extra stops just to refuel. And just to give you an idea of the size of this pipeline, from Texas to the northeast, normally carrying 100 million gallons of fuel a day. And all of this of course unsettling, underscoring just how vulnerable we are to these cyber attacks. ABC's Pierre Thomas leading us off tonight. Reporter: Tonight, with long lines at the pump and more than 1,000 gas stations running out of gas, the effects of the russia-based ransomeware attack are being felt up and down the east coast in what some homeland security officials calling in a new bulletin "The most devastating ransomware attack on critical infrastructure in the U.S. To date." Energy secretary Jennifer Granholm says colonial pipeline still has not determined when it will be safe to restart the flow. By close of business tomorrow, colonial will be in a position to make the full restart decision. But even after that decision is made, it will take a few days to ramp up operations. This pipeline has never been shut down before. Reporter: Energy analysts reporting demand for gasoline rose nearly 20% nationwide Monday compared to a week ago. Everywhere I go, it's -- bags over the gas pumps. Reporter: The 5,500-mile pipeline delivers nearly half of the fuel to the east coast and that includes jet fuel. Gio Benitez is at Atlanta's Hartsfield airport, America's busiest. Some airlines are already feeling the effects. American telling us it will have to make pit stops for fuel on some long haul flights to Hawaii and Europe and cancellations could be next. Reporter: It's been more than four days since colonial revealed that it's systems were compromised by what the FBI has identified as a gang of hackers based in Russia known as "Darkside," in a brazen scheme to extort money. Cyber attacks and our nation's infrasture are growing more sophisticated, frequent and aggressive. Reporter: According to the department of homeland security, ransomware attacks targeting the U.S. Are up nearly 300% this year, with hackers extorting roughly $350 million from U.S. Companies and consumers. The FBI identified "Darkside" last October and said the group has targeted a number of industries ranging fm manufacturing to health care to insurance. "Darkside" part of a larger trend where hackers are going after bigger and bigger targets. And Pierre Thomas back with us tonight. This is really eye opening just how devastating one cyber attack can be, and those images, the long lines, some gas stations running out. Tonight, we've learned the owner of the pipeline says we might learn tomorrow when they plan to reopen the pipeline? Reporter: David, this could go on days longer. Security experts have been telling us for years that many companies have not put in place the necessary firewalls and that many companies have not properly trained employees to prevent hacks. Now we see that impact, David. Pierre Thomas with us again tonight. Thank you, Pierre.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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