US Pipeline CEO Admits Paying $4.4Mln Ransom to End Hacker Attack, Restore Service

Colonial Pipeline Chief Executive Joseph Blount said his company paid $4.4mln to the cybercriminal group that closed the largest US pipeline with a ransomware attack that sent American motorists scrambling to find gasoline and underscored the vulnerability of the nation’s infrastructure to hackers, the WSJ reported on Monday.

In an interview with the newspaper, Blount acknowledged publicly for the first time that the company had paid the ransom, saying it was an option he felt he had to exercise, given the stakes involved in a shutdown of such critical energy infrastructure. The Colonial Pipeline provides roughly 45 percent of the fuel for the East Coast, according to the company.