The CEO of Colonial Pipeline, Joseph Blount, told the Wall Street Journal that he gave the green light for a $4.4 million ransom to be paid to hackers because company executives were not sure what impact the malware attack had on the company’s system.
The ransom was paid in consultation with experts who have worked with DarkSide, the malware gang behind the attack, in the past.
Blount, who confirmed publicly for the first time that the company had paid the ransom, said: “I know that’s a highly controversial decision. I didn’t make it lightly. I will admit that I wasn’t comfortable seeing money go out the door to people like this. But it was the right thing to do for the country.”
After paying with Bitcoin, the company received a decryption key, which was useful but not enough to return the pipeline system immediately.
It will take months to restore some of the systems and cost Colonial millions of dollars.
For more information, read the original story in the Wall Street Journal.