WASHINGTON DC – The company that operates the Colonial pipeline, whose disruption destabilized gasoline supplies on the country’s east coast, paid $ 5 million to a group of Russian hackers to regain control of the pipeline systems, they revealed to NBC News. sources with knowledge of the transaction.
Colonial Pipeline Co., which previously said it would not pay for a cyber rescue, would have disbursed that amount using a hard-to-trace cryptocurrency just hours after the incident.
Once the payment was received, the hackers gave the company a tool to enable them to re-enable the internal network they had blocked.
At the moment the company has not commented on the matter. Colonial Pipeline Co. learned of the hack around May 7, at which point it halted operations.
President Joe Biden said that the pipeline had been operating at maximum capacity since Thursday, and that the supply of gasoline would return to normal in the coming days.
The FBI said the hackers belong to a group called DarkSide, which specializes in digital extortion and is based in Russia.