TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — The FBI has launched an investigation following a cyber-attack on one of the nation's largest fuel pipeline companies.
Colonial Pipeline Co. recently announced it fell victim to a ransomware attack forcing its officials to temporarily shut down operations to prevent further damage. A move that also already led to disruptions and supply issues in parts of North Carolina.
The state is currently experiencing gas shortages and Gov. Roy Cooper has since issued an executive order declaring a state of emergency.
Florida Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried warned gas prices could increase in the coming days, but she advised Floridan's not to panic buy or hoard gas.
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"Know that we are in close contact with state and federal agencies and the petroleum industry on this situation, but, most importantly, don't panic to buy gas and don't hoard gas," Fried said.
Colonial Pipeline Co. is headquartered in Georgia and is responsible for supplying nearly half of the fuel used on the east coast from Texas throughout New Jersey.
In a statement released Monday, the FBI revealed a hacking group known as Darkside is responsible for the attack.
The pipeline company said it hopes to restore operations by the end of the week.