The US Department of Transportation (USDOT) has issued emergency legislation to help restore fuel supply after a ransomware attack Friday forced the country's largest fuel pipeline offline.
President Joe Biden declared a regional emergency Sunday, allowing the new measures to be passed. USDOT's Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) issued a temporary hours-of-service exemption Sunday for people transporting refined petroleum products, including gasoline, diesel and jet fuel, to the affected states along the East Coast.
The legislation, which became effective immediately, exempts motor carriers and drivers providing direct assistance related to the fuel shortage from legislation that regulates how long they can work.
It covers drivers bringing supplies to Alabama, Arkansas, District of Columbia, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, and Virginia.
A criminal group originating from Russia named "DarkSide" is believed to be responsible for a ransomware cyberattack on the Colonial Pipeline, according to a former senior cyber official. DarkSide typically targets non-Russian speaking countries, the source said.
The attack has led the White House to form an interagency working group over the weekend to prepare for various scenarios, including whether additional steps need to be taken to mitigate any potential impact on fuel supply, a White House official said Sunday.
Bloomberg and The Washington Post have also reported on DarkSide's purported involvement in the cyberattack.