Despite FBI discouragement and Colonial Pipelines unwillingness to pay ransoms, the company has suddenly paid a hefty ransom of $5 million to allegedly Eastern European hackers.
The private company was said to pay the $5 million ransom using “untraceable cryptocurrency, possibly Monero” to restore functionality to the U.S.’ largest pipeline, people familiar with the situation told Bloomberg. according to people familiar with the matter. Another person familiar with the situation said U.S. government officials are aware that Colonial made the payment
FBI identified the hacker as having links to the DarkSide group, according to Bloomberg’s report.
Bloomberg reported someone familiar with the situation said, “Once they received the payment, the hackers provided the operator with a decrypting tool to restore its disabled computer network. The tool was so slow that the company continued using its own backups to help restore the system.
By the payment, the company has resumed operations Wednesday, meaning petroleum could begin reaching five states in the East Coast region, including Florida and Georgia.