Rising gas prices, as well as the Colonial Pipeline ransomware incident last week, has left many Americans worried about gas prices, and looking for bargains. And it’s done so enough to push the GasBuddy app to the top of the App Store charts.
According to CNBC, GasBuddy took the #1 spot in the App Store’s Free Apps chart on Wednesday. As of Tuesday morning, it maintained the number one spot, ahead of more established apps like Tiktok, YouTube, Instagram, Coinbase, Facebook and Facebook Messenger.
GasBuddy, in its app and website, offers deals, and also comparison shopping from different gas stations. It also offers analysis of the gasoline price market from Patrick De Haan, GasBuddy’s head of petroleum analysis.
The site had reported earlier this week that the average gas price in the U.S. had exceeded $3 for the first time since 2014, due in part to the Colonial Pipeline cyberattack, which knocked one of the nation’s largest and most important pipelines offline for a period of nearly a week.
The pipeline was restarted Wednesday night.
“Following this restart it will take several days for the product delivery supply chain to return to normal,” Colonial said in a statement, per CNBC. “Some markets served by Colonial Pipeline may experience, or continue to experience, intermittent service interruptions during the start-up period. Colonial will move as much gasoline, diesel, and jet fuel as is safely possible and will continue to do so until markets return to normal.”
Despite some reports to the contrary, Bloomberg News reported Thursday that the company that owns the Colonial Pipeline agreed to pay nearly $5 million in ransom, shortly after the attack began.
“The company paid the hefty ransom in untraceable cryptocurrency within hours after the attack, underscoring the immense pressure faced by the Georgia-based operator to get gasoline and jet fuel flowing again to major cities along the Eastern Seaboard,” Bloomberg said. “A third person familiar with the situation said U.S. government officials are aware that Colonial made the payment.”
The report also said that hackers provided Colonial with a decrypting tool, although “the tool was so slow that the company continued using its own backups to help restore the system.”
Meanwhile, Axios reported Thursday that despite the pipeline having come back online, the Biden Administration is “more worried than it's letting on about the potential fallout” from the pipeline debacle.
“Senior Biden officials are acutely sensitive to the images of lines outside gas stations before Memorial Day — the typical launch to the summer driving season. Republicans also are jumping on the bandwagon, suggesting Joe Biden is a modern-day Jimmy Carter,” the report said.
Stephen Silver, a technology writer for The National Interest, is a journalist, essayist and film critic, who is also a contributor to The Philadelphia Inquirer, Philly Voice, Philadelphia Weekly, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, Living Life Fearless, Backstage magazine, Broad Street Review and Splice Today. The co-founder of the Philadelphia Film Critics Circle, Stephen lives in suburban Philadelphia with his wife and two sons. Follow him on Twitter at @StephenSilver.