Midstate gas prices trickle higher following ransomware attack on U.S. pipeline

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HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) — Midstate gas prices are trickling higher days after a major U.S. pipeline halted operation following a ransomware attack.

Harrisburg’s gas prices have risen 8.8 cents per gallon in the past week, averaging $3.06/g Monday, according to GasBuddy’s weekly survey of 241 stations in Harrisburg.

Prices in Harrisburg have risen 16.9 cents per gallon steadily since last month and stand $1.06/g higher than a year ago.

According to GasBuddy, the cheapest station in Harrisburg was priced at $2.89/g while the most costly stood at $3.19/g, a difference of 30.0 cents per gallon.

But prices are not too far off the mark for national averages which have risen 4.5 cents per gallon in the last week, averaging $2.95/g on Monday.

The problem may be due in part to a cybersecurity threat that halted the operation of a major U.S. pipeline.

US officials say that a criminal organization in Russia sent a ransomware attack that ended up crippling production.

“Hopefully this will be one of those events that cause action to occur and organizations to realize that they have to invest in implementing good cybersecurity practices,” Harrisburg University of Science and Technology Professor Bruce Young said.

Officials say the pipeline system is responsible for transporting roughly 45% of fuel consumed across the East Coast.

The Biden administration responded to the situation saying an “all-hands-on-deck” effort is underway to restore operations and avoid disruptions in gasoline supply.

Experts believe that gas prices are unlikely to be affected if normal operations resume in the next few days.

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