(Reuters) – Colonial Pipeline paid nearly $ 5 million to Eastern European hackers Friday after a crippling cyberattack that shut down the largest fuel line network in the United States, Bloomberg News reported, citing two people familiar with the transaction.
the company paid the ransom in traceable cryptocurrency within hours of the attack, according to the report.
The Colonial Pipeline did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment.
The hackers provided the pipeline operator with a decryption tool to restore their disabled computer network after receiving the payment, but the company used its own backups to restore the system because the tool was slow, Bloomberg News reported.
After a six-day outage, the pipeline, which carries 1
The shutdown caused a petrol shortage and an emergency. declarations from Virginia to Florida, led to two refineries to limit production and caused airlines to mix up some refueling measures.
The FBI accused a shady criminal gang called DarkSide of the ransomware attack. The group, which is believed to be based in Russia or Eastern Europe, did not take credit directly, but on Wednesday they claimed that they had broken systems with three other companies, including an Illinois technology company.
A short press release published on the DarkSide website did not directly mention the Colonial Pipeline but under the heading "About the latest news" it noted that "our goal is to make money and not create problems for society."
Whether targets for such attacks should be worthwhile to regain control of their systems is a matter of fierce debate. Critics claim that paying the ransom encourages attacks.
The White House denied weighing on Monday whether hacked companies, such as the Colonial Pipeline, would pay ransom to its attackers, but a national security authority said it could provide some advice in the future. . Catalog