Just what we need heading towards Memorial Day Weekend: Gas prices in New Jersey may soon see a spike following a recent cyberattack.

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A ransomware breach, possibly at the hands of a Russian criminal organization called DarkSide, forced the shutdown of the Colonial pipeline, according to Patch.com.

Colonial says drastic measures were needed to "contain the [cybersecurity] threat."

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration declared the cyberattack an emergency that interrupted fuel delivery through New Jersey and on to other states.

The flow of gasoline, jet fuel, and diesel has already slowed.

A statement from Colonial goes on to say, "At this time, our primary focus continues to be the safe and efficient restoration of service to our pipeline system, while minimizing disruption to our customers and all those who rely on Colonial Pipeline".

Reportedly, as much as 45 percent of Colonial's petroleum business has been disrupted because of the attack and shutdown and, as a result, residents of the Garden State could find ourselves paying more at the pump.

How much more? Approximately $3/gallon, according to AAA. Jana L. Tidwell, manager of Public and Government Affairs for AAA Mid-Atlantic, tells Patch.com, "This shutdown will have implications on both gasoline supply and prices, but the impact will vary regionally. Areas including Mississippi, Tennessee and the east coast from Georgia into Delaware are most likely to experience limited fuel availability and price increases, as early as this week. These states may see prices increase three to seven cents this week."

Not great news considering the national average is currently $2.96/gallon. Gas prices are heading in the wrong direction just weeks away from Memorial Day Weekend and the unofficial start to summer when now, more than ever, people are ready to get on the road for day trips to the shore and vacations by car.

SOURCES: Patch.com via Gloucester Twp. Patch/Facebook

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