Colonial Pipeline pays hackers $5M ransom: 5 things to know  

Jackie Drees - Print  | 

Colonial Pipeline Co. paid criminal gang DarkSide $5 million May 13 to put an end to the cybercriminals' ransomware attack across its computer systems, CNBC reports. 

Five things to know: 

1. Colonial Pipeline was hit by the attack over the weekend and was forced to shutdown a main pipeline that supplies gasoline and diesel fuel to the U.S. East Coast. 

2. Earlier on May 13, President Joe Biden declined to comment whether Colonial Pipeline paid the ransom, and White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki told reporters that the federal government's position is still to not pay ransoms because they may incentivize cybercriminals to launch more attacks, according to the report. 

3. The DarkSide group described its actions as "apolitical" in a May 10 statement provided to CNBC. "Our goal is to make money, and not creating problems for society. From today we introduce moderation and check each company that our partners want to encrypt to avoid social consequences in the future," it said. 

4. Colonial Pipeline on May 12 said it had restored operations from the attack and had decided to temporarily close pipeline service as a precautionary measure. 

5. The hack underscored threats that ransomware attacks are posing across several industries, including hospitals and health systems. Raleigh, N.C.-based WakeMed CIO Peter Marks, PhD, told WTVD May 10 that cyber attacks are "incredibly serious" as "every organization is facing these kinds of attacks every day."

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