(Reuters) -U.S. government officials were working closely with top U.S. fuel pipeline operator Colonial Pipeline on Sunday to help it recover from a ransomware cyberattack that forced the company to shut a critical fuel network supplying populous eastern states.
The attack is one of the most disruptive digital ransom operations reported and has prompted calls from American lawmakers to tighten protections for critical U.S. energy infrastructure against hackers.
Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo said Washington was working to avoid more severe fuel supply disruptions and to help Colonial restart as quickly as possible its more than 5,500-mile (8,850 km) pipeline network from Texas to New Jersey.
“It’s an all hands on deck effort right now,” Raimondo said on CBS’ “Face the Nation” program. “We are working closely with the company, state and local officials, to make sure that they get back up to normal operations as quickly as possible and there aren’t disruptions in supply.”
Colonial said on Saturday it was “continuing to monitor the impact of this temporary service halt” and to work to restore service. Neither Raimondo nor the company gave an estimate for a restart date and Colonial declined further comment on Sunday.
Colonial transports roughly 2.5 million barrels per day of gasoline and…