Colonial CEO Defends $4.4M Ransomware Payment

By Ben Kochman (June 8, 2021, 5:06 PM EDT) -- At a U.S. Senate hearing Tuesday, the head of Colonial Pipeline Co. defended the company's recent $4.4 million ransomware payment, while acknowledging that the attackers cracked a key password that was not protected by a basic security practice.

"I know how critical the pipeline is to our country, and I put the country first," Colonial CEO Joseph Blount told the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs of the ransom payment, a month after Colonial shut down a 5,500-mile pipeline that supplies nearly half the gasoline, diesel and jet fuel used on the U.S. East Coast.

During questioning, Blount called...

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