THE cyber attack that has caused America's biggest fuel pipeline to shut down for the fourth day has also caused gas prices to soar.
The FBI has confirmed that the Russian crime group named "DarkSide" is behind the attack, which caused Colonial Pipeline to temporarily shut down operations on Friday.
Colonial Pipeline transports 2.5 million barrels of gas per day between Texas and New Jersey, making up roughly 45 percent of all fuel used on the East Coast.
In a statement, the company said it "proactively took certain systems offline to contain the threat, which has temporarily halted all pipeline operations, and affected some of our IT systems."
DarkSide targets large corporations for ransoms by capturing the victim's confidential data and threatening to leak it if the ransom isn't paid.
It is not known what the Colonial Pipeline ransom is, if it is being negotiated or if it has been paid.
Meanwhile, fears of a spike in gas prices have been confirmed as according to AAA, the national gas price average jumped six cents to $2.96 and is expected to increase more this week.
An increase of three more cents would make the national average the most expensive since November 2014, when the average prices reached $2.99 and higher.
"This shutdown will have implications on both gasoline supply and prices, but the impact will vary regionally.
"Areas including Mississippi, Tennessee and the east coast from Georgia into Delaware are most likely to experience limited fuel availability and price increases, as early as this week," said Jeanette McGee, AAA spokesperson.
"These states may see prices increase three to seven cents this week."
In a statement issued Sunday, Colonial said it had opened some small delivery lines but the main system was still down.
"While our mainlines remain offline, some smaller lateral lines between terminals and delivery points are now operational," Colonial said in a statement, adding it would "bring our full system back online only when we believe it is safe to do so.
"We have remained in contact with law enforcement and other federal agencies, including the Department of Energy who is leading the Federal Government response."
Following the cyberattack, the Biden administration has warned of more cyber attacks as Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo said such attacks are "here to stay" and the White House must "work in partnership with business to secure networks to defend ourselves."
The hack is believed to be the largest successful digital attack on US energy infrastructure in history.
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DarkSide first emerged in August 2020 and claims to have a kind of ethics code.
It said it wouldn't target schools, universities, hospitals, hospices, non-profit bodies and the government "based on its principles."
Its site on the dark web hints at their hackers' past crimes, claims they previously made millions from extortion and that just because their software was new "that does not mean that we have no experience and we came from nowhere."