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Colonial Pipeline paid cyber hackers almost $5 million in ransom, reports

The company reportedly paid the hackers with cryptocurrency.

Published: May 13, 2021 11:42am

Updated: May 13, 2021 12:37pm

Colonial Pipeline paid almost $5 million in ransom to hackers responsible for the cyber intrusion Friday that resulted in the shutdown of its gas infrastructure, according to several news reports Thursday.

The company allegedly paid the hackers in untraceable cryptocurrency hours after the ransomware attack, according to Bloomberg News.

Bloomberg spoke to several people familiar with the alleged payment, with one saying the U.S. government was aware of the ransom payment. The hackers then gave the company a decryption tool to restore the disabled computer network.

The cyber intrusion shutdown the Colonial Pipeline operation that resulted in the East Coast losing roughly 45% of its petroleum from a pipeline from Texas. The company said late Wednesday that it had restarted the operation. 

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