Biden to address Americans about Colonial Pipeline cyberattack that sparked gas hike, panic buying

The cyberattack occurred Friday and has raised concerns about the security of the country's infrastructure.

President Biden is set Thursday to address the American public about the Colonial Pipeline cyberattack that shut down the company’s Texas-to-East Coast pipeline for roughly six days – sparking panic buying at gas stations across the southeast and raising concerns about how the next such attack could cripple U.S. infrastructure.

Biden on Wednesday signed an executive order to improve the country’s cybersecurity, following a series of attacks, including one last year that hit several federal agencies, through the third-party software company SolarWinds.

Biden makes the address amid a series of recent, high-profile concerns – including signs of inflation; a slow, pandemic-related jobs recovery; and a record number of illegal immigrants coming to the southwest U.S. border.

The Colonial Pipeline operation was hit Friday by a ransomware attack, which resulted in the panic buying that closed gas stations and resulted in several states issuing a state of emergency. Gas prices have also reached $3 a gallon, as a result of the cyberattack. 

Colonial Pipeline said Wednesday that it had restarted the pipeline flow.

The Russia-based cyber gang DarkSide has claimed responsibility for the ransomware attack.