Colonial Pipeline paid ransomware hackers $5 million, U.S. official says

Tanker trucks are parked near the entrance of Colonial Pipeline Company Wednesday, May 12, 2021, in Charlotte, N.C.  Several gas stations in the Southeast reported running out of fuel, primarily because of what analysts say is unwarranted panic-buying among drivers, as the shutdown of a major pipeline by hackers entered its fifth day.  (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)
Tanker trucks are parked near the entrance of Colonial Pipeline Company Wednesday, May 12, 2021, in Charlotte, N.C. Several gas stations in the Southeast reported running out of fuel, primarily because of what analysts say is unwarranted panic-buying among drivers, as the shutdown of a major pipeline by hackers entered its fifth day. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson) (Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

Colonial Pipeline paid the hackers who shut down some of its networks nearly $5 million in ransom, a U.S. official familiar with the matter said Thursday.

News of the payment was first reported by Bloomberg. The U.S. official did not say how or when the company paid.

Colonial, which operates the country’s largest fuel pipeline, announced it had been hacked Friday, and shut down all four of its major pipelines that serve the Eastern and Southeastern United States as a precaution. Gas prices rose, and some stations ran out of fuel. The Department of Transportation issued an emergency order allowing truckers driving fuel in affected states to work longer hours than federal regulations normally allow.

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