The shutdown of the Colonial Pipeline is causing a ripple effect, threatening to impact prices well beyond the pump and raising flags about cybersecurity vulnerabilities.
BRIAN TAFF: Shutdown to the Colonial pipeline now causing a ripple effect which threatens to impact prices well beyond the pump.
– It’s also raising some big flags about cybersecurity vulnerabilities. Nydia’s here in studio now to explain this ripple effect.
NYDIA HAN: Oh, yeah, so many concerns here. The pipeline shut down on Friday due to something called a ransomware attack. And depending on how long the shutdown lasts, this could impact millions of consumers in all kinds of ways.
CHUCK MINNICH: Pipeline provides 45% of the fuel that’s consumed in the Northeast.
NYDIA HAN (VOICEOVER): If the Colonial pipeline is back up and running by the end of this week, as the company hopes–
CHUCK MINNICH: The impact will not be dramatic nor long lived.
NYDIA HAN (VOICEOVER): But if the shutdown continues for two weeks or more, analysts warn we could have serious problems.
CHUCK MINNICH: What you’ll tend to see, since everything we buy and sell has to be transported, is prices go up across the board. And we’ll see it in food, we’ll see it in appliances, furniture, electronics, airline ticket prices go up, gasoline surcharges added on to your shipping fees.
NYDIA HAN (VOICEOVER): A long shutdown could also affect the demand side of the equation. If people are paying more at the pump, that leaves less money to spend elsewhere. And consumer confidence will likely decline.
CHUCK MINNICH: And if that stays intact, you can see job growth begin to slow. So it really will have an impact beyond just pricing.
NYDIA HAN (VOICEOVER): Meantime, the attack on the Colonial pipeline is highlighting concern over cybersecurity vulnerabilities.
NYDIA HAN: This is a wake-up call not just for infrastructure but for all companies.
ROB D’OVIDIO: Yes, that’s exactly it.
NYDIA HAN (VOICEOVER): In this case, hackers used ransomware to scramble data that it will decode and keep to themselves only if Colonial pays up.
ROB D’OVIDIO: Criminals are also targeting individuals. And they’re asking for ransom as well to the tune of $500, $1,200. So what does that mean to us? We need to make sure our computers are secure–
NYDIA HAN (VOICEOVER): And beware of any suspicious emails asking you to click on links or provide user IDs or passwords. That is how the cyber criminals might have infected the Colonial system.
ROB D’OVIDIO: And we can not only protect the companies that we work for, but protect our own personal computing resources and our own home networks.
NYDIA HAN: An important lesson for all of us. And everyone now keeping their fingers crossed the Colonial pipeline is back up and running as soon as possible. So much hinges on that, Brian.
BRIAN TAFF: No doubt. Nydia, thank you. A tech–