North Carolina gas station owner sues Colonial Pipeline for losses after ransomware attack

WILMINGTON, N.C. (WTVD) -- A gas station owner in North Carolina is suing the Colonial Pipeline for $5 million.

Documents obtained by ABC News show the owner of EZ Mart in Wilmington alleges that the Colonial Pipeline was unprepared to handle a ransomware attack and that it caused the gas station's pumps to be out of service for more than a week.

The FBI has said that a cyber criminal group called DarkSide carried out the ransomware attack that led the pipeline to briefly shut down its operations.

After the attack, panic buying by customers led to a shortage of gas in North Carolina.

"In the years and months leading up to May 7, 2021, the dangers of ransomware attacks had become well-known among IT professionals and computer systems managers at large corporations such as Defendant," the lawsuit says. "Defendant was well-aware of the quantity of critical and commercially sensitive information in its computer systems. And Defendant is a massively resourced company owned by some of the largest gas and oil interests in the world. However, Defendant had failed to take reasonable steps to secure and protect its systems against data breach and ransomware attacks."

The station's owners said, because of the shutdown, sales for May fell by $7,789 compared to sales for April even though May is the beginning of tourist season.
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