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Colonial Pipeline at full service, warnings of price gouging

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Alabama and the rest of the East Coast are waiting for the Colonial Pipeline to fully get back to normal operations following a cyberattack. 

The pipeline is once again running at full service this morning after being shut down Friday, but the operator of the company says it will take about two weeks for gasoline stored in Houston to reach East Coast filling stations.

Credit Pixabay

Steven Polunsky is the Director of the Alabama Transportation Policy Research Center.  He says this cyberattack is very unusual because the hackers weren’t looking to hurt the economy.

“People saying they represent the bad guys here, said their intent wasn’t to cripple the economy or cut back people’s ability to get gasoline," says Polunsky. "This wasn’t a cyber war issue. Or a malicious attack from a foreign government, according to this representation.”

The FBI says ransomware made by a group known as “DarkSide” was used in the cyberattack. Polunsky say the attack seemed to be a matter of getting in, getting out and getting cash quickly.

He says Alabamians need to be on the look-out for gas station owners possibly taking advantage of this situation with price gouging.

Credit Pixabay

“Generally, as a rule of thumb, if a price changes by 20%, here it’s 40 or 50 cents," he says. "Jumps like that, that’s a concern. If a consumer thinks that’s happening, they need to document their purchase and report that to the Attorney General’s office.”

Alabamians can report any suspected price gouging online at AlabamaAG.gov.

The cyberattack crippled the pipeline extending from Texas to New York that supplies about 45 percent of fuel on the East Coast.

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