Sign up for our daily briefing

Make your busy days simpler with the Axios AM and PM newsletters. Catch up on what's new and why it matters in just 5 minutes.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on the day's biggest business stories

Subscribe to the Axios Closer newsletter for insights into the day’s business news and trends and why they matter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Sign up for Axios Pro Rata

Dive into the world of dealmakers across VC, PE and M&A with Axios Pro Rata. Delivered daily to your inbox by Dan Primack and Kia Kokalitcheva.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Sports news worthy of your time

Binge on the stats and stories that drive the sports world with the Axios Sports newsletter. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Tech news worthy of your time

Get our smart take on technology from the Valley and D.C. with Axios Login. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Get the inside stories

Get an insider's guide to the new White House with Axios Sneak Peek. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Denver news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Denver

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Des Moines news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Des Moines newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Twin Cities news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Twin Cities

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Tampa Bay news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Tampa Bay newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Charlotte news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Charlotte

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Nashville news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Nashville newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Columbus news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Columbus newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Dallas news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Dallas newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Austin news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Austin newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Atlanta news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Atlanta newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Philadelphia news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Philadelphia newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Chicago news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Chicago newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Sign up for Axios NW Arkansas

Stay up-to-date on the most important and interesting stories affecting NW Arkansas, authored by local reporters

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top DC news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios DC newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

The ransomware attack against the Colonial Pipeline — the massive East Coast gasoline artery — is a stunning real-world example of the increasing risks that the energy sector faces from a cyberattack.

Why it matters: Different parts of the vast American energy system are vulnerable — from pipelines to power grids to individual power plants and plenty in between.

  • While federal and state agencies, as well as companies, have spent years hardening their systems, the shutdown of the country's largest refined products pipeline, which carries over 100 million gallons per day, shows you can never be too prepared.

Between the lines: Ransomware has a distinct, perhaps less-pernicious goal: to lock users out of a system until they pay to have access restored.

  • Most ransomware victims are put in impossible positions, incurring financial losses while wrestling with the decision of whether to pay the ransom.
  • But as Axios' Felix Salmon noted, the Colonial Pipeline is not your everyday ransomware victim, given its status as critical infrastructure. Instead, the full resources of the U.S. government have been mobilized in the wake of this attack.
  • All the disruption and attention even elicited an apology, of sorts, from DarkSide, the relatively new group the FBI said allegedly perpetrated the hack.
  • “Our goal is to make money and not creating problems for society," the group said in a statement on the dark web.

The big picture: Axios' chief tech correspondent Ina Fried notes the attack highlights a growing dilemma facing cities, utilities and companies: The more that their processes go digital, the more vulnerable they are to financially motivated attacks.

  • Moody's Investors Service, in a note, said pipeline operators have increasingly adopted digital tech to improve their operations.
  • The problem? That also means operators of oil, natural gas and other pipelines are "offering new vectors for cyberattackers."

Threat level: Moody's says the pipeline sector is the oil-and-gas industry's most vulnerable segment.

  • "A cyberattack that disrupts one or more long-haul pipelines would have global supply implications, regardless of the location of the attack," it notes.
  • On the bright side, Moody's says the oil-and-gas sectors' cybersecurity investments have been growing.

Yes, but: Cybersecurity concerns also extend to other elements of the energy system, such as the electrical grid.

  • The expensive and deadly power outages in Texas in February, caused by extreme cold, illustrated what can happen when the power goes out for an extended period.

Of note: The Colonial hack comes about five months after the disclosure of the far-reaching Russian SolarWinds hacking of a vast trove of corporate and government systems.

  • This breach may have compromised parts of the American energy infrastructure.

Driving the news: There are reports that some gasoline stations have run out of fuel.

  • Per GasBuddy analyst Patrick De Haan's Twitter feed, the most widespread outages as of this morning were in Virginia at around 7.6%, and he notes the state-by-state estimates may be low.
  • Via Bloomberg, "From Virginia to Florida and Alabama, fuel stations are reporting that they’ve sold out of gasoline as supplies in the region dwindle and panic buying sets in."
  • AAA reports that the outage has pushed nationwide average gasoline prices to $2.99-per-gallon, the highest since late 2014 (a standing reminder that prices vary by region).

What's next: Colonial Pipeline said Monday that segments are being brought back online in a "stepwise fashion," with the goal of "substantially restoring operational service by the end of the week."

What they're saying: "We are monitoring supply shortages in parts of the Southeast and are evaluating every action the Administration can take to mitigate the impact as much as possible," White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said in a statement.

What we're watching: Multiple lawmakers have called for the passage of cybersecurity bills in the wake of the attack.

  • "That infrastructure package should have a giant allocation for improving cybersecurity across the United States," energy analyst Amy Myers Jaffe said on the latest Axios Pro Rata podcast.

Go deeper: What to know about the Colonial Pipeline cyberattack

Go deeper

Biden White House jammed on gas prices

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The Biden White House increasingly views rising gasoline prices as a source of potential political peril — and is now asking some of the world's biggest oil producers to pump more oil.

Why it matters: This trend, combined with a fragile economic recovery threatened by the Delta variant of the coronavirus, and inflation beginning to bite consumers, could threaten the administration's ambitious congressional agenda for late summer and early fall.

The hard math behind America's labor shortage

Data: Bureau of Labor Statistics, Congressional Budget Office; Chart: Axios Visuals

Yes, the pandemic has created unusual temporary labor market dynamics. But in the bigger picture, the 2010s were a golden age for companies seeking cheap labor. The 2020s are not.

The big picture: In the 2010s, the massive millennial generation was entering the workforce, the massive baby bo0m generation was still hard at work, and there was a multi-year hangover from the deep recession caused by the global financial crisis.

Advocates fret Roe v. Wade's 49th anniversary could be its last

Photo: Leigh Vogel/Getty Images for Women's March Inc

As Saturday marks the 49th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court's landmark decision that legalized abortion access in the U.S., advocates warn the ruling is "more at risk now than ever."

The big picture: The Supreme Court in December heard a challenge to a Mississippi 15-week abortion ban that could throw Roe's survival into question, or at least narrow its scope.

You’ve caught up. Now what?

Sign up for Mike Allen’s daily Axios AM and PM newsletters to get smarter, faster on the news that matters.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!