Colonial Pipeline CEO testifies in front of Congress on ransomware attack

News

WASHINGTON (AP) — The chief executive of the massive fuel pipeline hit by ransomware last month is expected to detail his company’s response to the cyberattack and to explain his decision to authorize a multimillion-dollar payment when he testifies before Congress this week.

Colonial Pipeline CEO Joseph Blount will face the Senate Homeland Security Committee on Tuesday, one day after the Justice Department revealed it had recovered the majority of the $4.4 million ransom payment the company made in hopes of getting its system back online. A second hearing is set for Wednesday before the House Homeland Security Committee.

Blount’s testimony marks his first appearance before Congress since the May 7 ransomware attack that led Georgia-based Colonial Pipeline, which supplies roughly half the fuel consumed on the East Coast, to temporarily halt operations. The attack has been attributed to a Russia-based gang of cybercriminals using the DarkSide ransomware variant, one of more than 100 variants the FBI is currently investigating.

The company decided soon after the attack to pay ransom of 75 bitcoin, then valued at roughly $4.4 million. Though the FBI has historically discouraged ransomware payments for fear of encouraging cyberattacks, Colonial officials have said they saw the transaction as necessary to resume the vital fuel transport business as rapidly as possible.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

High School Standouts
Ask the Expert
Find A Job
wspa news app free for download choose your store below
download the wspa news app from the apple app store
download the wspa news app from the google play store