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Colonial Pipeline discovered a ransom note from hackers on May 7. Colonial decided to pay $ 4.4 million in Bitcoins because they were unsure how badly the cyber attack had breached the systems. After payment, the company received a decryption tool to unlock the hacked systems.
The pipeline was shut down for six days. The hiatus triggered a run on gasoline along parts of the East Coast that drove prices to their highest levels in more than 6½ years.
For years, the FBI has advised companies not to pay when they are hit with ransomware. By doing this, officials would support a thriving criminal market. US officials have linked the ransomware attack on Colonial to a criminal gang known as DarkSide, believed to be based in Eastern Europe.
While the pipeline’s fuel flow has returned to normal, the hack’s impact barely ended with the ransom payment. It will take months of restoration work to restore some business systems, and it will ultimately cost Colonial tens of millions of dollars.
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