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'Colonial' hackers got their payment

It's in the national interest to keep the hackers well fed

20.May.21 7:57 AM
By Shawn Highstraw
Photo Pinterest


'Colonial' hackers got their payment
The oil pipeline company Colonial Pipeline has paid a group of hackers who break into the company's computer systems 4.4 million dollars, says director Joseph Blount in conversation with The Wall Street Journal.

Hackers attacked Colonial Pipeline in early May, after which several ICT systems went down. As a precaution, the company then closed all the pipes, leading to oil shortages and hoarding behaviour in some places in the United States.

After the attack took place, it was decided to pay the hackers ransom so that they would release the systems. Blount says he approved the payment because he didn't know exactly what the extent of the damage was and how long it would take to get the pipelines functional again.

"I know it's a very controversial decision," he says. "But I've given this a lot of thought. I admit it wasn't pleasant to send money to people like that, but I did it out of national interest."

A spokesperson adds that tens of millions of Americans depend on the pipes of Colonial Pipeline. "This involves hospitals, the police, the fire brigade, airports and travellers."

Colonial provides about 45 percent of the oil products consumed on the east coast of the United States. The company manages a 9,000 kilometre long pipe network. The oil comes from the southern states of the Gulf of Mexico and is transported from there to the rest of the country.

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