VINELAND, N.J. (CBS) — A ransomware group called Darkside is taking responsibility for the shutdown of a crucial oil pipeline. Officials with AAA Mid-Atlantic say the longer the shutdown stretches on, the more we could start to see gasoline prices rise.
As drivers notice prices at the gas pump tick up because of summer demand, AAA Mid-Atlantic expects prices in our area to go up even more because of a hack attack on the Colonial Pipeline.READ MORE: Police: 2 Teens In Car Shot At Red Light In Philadelphia's Olney Neighborhood
“We’re expecting that local gas prices could increase 3 to 6 cents a gallon just this week alone,” said Jana Tidwell with AAA Mid-Atlantic.
The Colonial Pipeline delivers roughly 45% of fuel consumed on the East Coast, stretching from Texas to New Jersey. But since it’s been hit by a ransomware attack last week, it’s halted all pipeline operations, including a facility in Chesterfield, Burlington County, to deal with the threat.
“The big question, of course, is going to be how long will the pipeline be shutdown? The longer it’s shutdown, the more we will feel the impact in prices at the pump,” Tidwell said.READ MORE: 14 Arrested On More Than 120 Charges Related To NorthPak Gang Violence In Wilmington
The FBI says the group responsible for the ransomware attack is a criminal gang called Darkside.
“You would think the Colonial Pipeline would be one of the most protected,” said Steven Riggins.
Riggins, of Riggins Oil-based in Vineland, says the cyberattack comes as fuel wholesalers like his grapple with a shortage of fuel drivers.
“There’s obviously work out there that we’re not taking. We’re probably understaffed by about 20% right now,” Riggins said.MORE NEWS: Wawa, 2SP Brewing Company Team Up For Sunfest Strawberry Lemonade Shandy Beer
The Colonial Pipeline hopes to restore service by the end of the week.