The Colonial Pipeline Co. reportedly paid a $5 million ransom to cyberattackers, allowing the vital fuel-shipping system to restart after the hackers had seized control and triggered panic-buying of gasoline throughout the Southeastern U.S.
Bloomberg News first reported Thursday that Colonial had paid the money, citing two people familiar with the exchange. CNBC also reported that the company paid the hackers, though it did not say how much.
Earlier this week, the FBI identified a criminal group known as DarkSide as being responsible for the cyberattack.
“Once they received the payment, the hackers provided the operator with a decrypting tool to restore its disabled computer network,” Bloomberg reported. “The tool was so slow that the company continued using its own backups to help restore the system, one of the people familiar with the company’s efforts said.”
Colonial Pipeline officials declined to comment on Thursday.
The system – which supplies about 45% of the Southeastern region’s fuel, including gasoline and jet fuel – was offline for several days after the attackers struck Friday.
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After successfully resuming operation in part on Wednesday, “Colonial Pipeline has made substantial progress in safely restarting our pipeline system and can report that product delivery has commenced in a majority of the markets we service,” the company said Thursday morning in…