Colonial Pipeline Confirms Ransom Payment Of $4.4 Million

 

The Colonial Pipeline Company has confirmed that it paid the criminals behind the recent ransomware attack $ 4.4 million in ransom for file decryption. "I know it's a very controversial decision," Colonial Pipeline CEO Joseph Blount told The Wall Street Journal. It was not an easy decision, according to Blount. "I wasn't happy that money was going to people like this. But it was the right thing to do for the country."


After consulting with experts who previously dealt with the group behind the ransomware attack, Colonial Pipeline decided to pay the ransom quite shortly after the attack. Blount acknowledges that the operational systems themselves were not directly affected by the attack. Still, the company decided to disable it as a precaution to investigate how far the attackers had penetrated the systems.


Previously, sources told CNN and journalist Kim Zetter that the Colonial Pipeline billing system had been affected by the attack and not the fuel pipeline. According to these sources, Colonial Pipeline decided to shut down the pipeline for fear of not getting paid as the billing system was offline due to the attack. As a result, the company could not determine what to invoice each customer.


Colonial Pipeline operates 9,000 miles of pipeline and is responsible for 45 percent of the US East Coast's fuel supply. Although systems were restarted yesterday, more than 9,500 gas stations were out of fuel, including half of the gas stations in Washington DC and 40 percent of the gas stations in North Carolina.

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