Sunday, April 14

Cyberattack & Panic Buying Leading To Fuel Shortage

ASHEBORO NC – Gas stations are struggling to keep gas in stock after a cyberattack on the Colonial Pipeline sparked rumors of a shortage leading to panic buying.

On Monday, North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper signed an Executive Order declaring a state of emergency in North Carolina. The order suspends motor vehicle fuel regulations to guarantee the state has adequate fuel supply.

The situation started after a cyberattack on the Colonial Pipeline last Friday. The pipeline transports around 45% of the fuel for the East Coast and had to shut down after finding ransomware on some of its computers.
On Monday, the FBI confirmed that DarkSide was responsible for the attack and said the investigation was ongoing.
The pipeline which is also the primary fuel source in North Carolina was still shut down Tuesday morning. No information was available from Colonial Pipeline as their website was offline Tuesday.

Government officials are urging the public “not to panic-buy”, which would only worsen the shortage. The operator of the pipeline said it hopes to have services mostly restored by the end of the week.

Tuesday morning the website which tracks gas prices and shortages showed the majority of gas stations in Randolph county had fuel in stock.

However, as of 1 PM on Tuesday the Sheetz in Asheboro was out of all but premium and diesel, Pumps at Speedway on E Dixie Dr were bagged up. Most managers we spoke to said that new shipments of fuel would be arriving tomorrow. One manager who asked not to be named said that they had ordered the normal amount of gasoline but “customers who are scared of a shortage, coming in and panic buying were themselves creating a shortage”.