Recently the Colonial Pipeline company was hacked by ransomeware that disrupted the company’s ability to provide fuel to the largest pipeline in the United States.
On Wednesday, the company released a statement saying that the pipeline would be restored to full functionality.
It appears that the credit for recovery goes to a massive payment to the cyber terrorists behind the attack.
Bloomberg.com reports that Colonial Pipeline “paid nearly $5 million to Eastern European hackers on Friday, contradicting reports earlier this week that the company had no intention of paying an extortion fee to help restore the country’s largest fuel pipeline, according to two people familiar with the transaction.”
It is the official position of the FBI to discourage organizations from paying ransom to hackers and public statements from the company were previously in line with this position.
Their gamble of paying the ransom seems to have paid off in this case, though, because as soon as the hackers received the payment, they provided the tools to recover the damaged and/or disabled files that made the pipeline inoperable.
It also seems that the President of the United States knew about the massive payment to the cyber terrorists.
Having received a heads up about the payment, Joe Biden was telling reporters that the country should be ready for some “good news.”
“We have been in very, very close contact with Colonial Pipeline, which is the one area you’re talking about – one of the reasons gasoline prices are going up,” Biden said at an event.
“I think you’re going to hear some good news in next 24 hours. And I think we’ll be getting that under control.”
This has me wondering… is it an official Biden policy to pay off terrorists instead of making them pay?