Colonial Pipeline paid a $4.4 million ransom to a group of hackers after a cyberattack against the pipeline network it manages in USA considering it “the right thing to do for the country,” the Wall Street Journal reported on Wednesday.

Joseph Blount, CEO of Colonial Pipeline told the newspaper that the payment was a “highly controversial decision” but necessary due to the shutdown affecting that key pipeline network in the United States.

His comments were the first public admission that the company paid to regain control of that network after hackers accessed its servers.

Colonial announced on Thursday that it had restored operations and fuel deliveries to all markets following the May 7 blockade following the cyber attack.

The stoppage of the pipeline immediately generated a frenzy of gasoline purchases in the eastern United States with the consequent rise in prices. To alleviate the shortage, the federal government suspended air pollution regulations as well as shipping and transportation regulations.

Unknown on Friday blocked the servers of DarkSide, a supposedly Russian-based entity that engages in computer extortion, which is credited with being behind the operation against Colonial.

You will pay the ransom on the night of May 7, Colonial received a decryption tool from hackers. The payment was made in bitcoins, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Although the pipeline network normalized the supply, the incident will cost Colonial additional tens of millions of dollars to fully restore operations in the coming months, Blount said.

Categorized in: