COLONIAL PIPELINE CEO TESTIFIES

News Update

Colonial Pipeline CEO testifies on ransomware attack

By Jimmie Johnson (Reporter), Ben Burke (Producer), Ryan Tiedgen (Editor)

Colonial Pipeline CEO Joseph Blount testified Tuesday morning before the Senate Homeland Security Committee about last month’s ransomware attack.

Blount called the decision to pay the roughly $4.4 million ransom one of the most difficult he has had to make in his life.

He said it was the right thing to do, even though authorities typically say to not pay ransom.

“I know how critical our pipeline is to the country. And I put the interests of the country first,” Blount said. “I kept the information closely held because we were concerned about operational safety and security and we wanted to stay focused on getting the pipeline back up and running.”

The U.S. Department of Justice announced Monday it had recovered $2.3 million worth of the ransom money.

The recovery was part of a worldwide sting operation called Trojan Shield.

More than 800 people were arrested in 700 raids in 16 countries.

“The amount of intelligence that we received was staggering,” FBI Special Agent-in-charge Suzanne Turner said. “From seizing drugs, guns and millions of dollars in multiple currencies to addressing more than 150 threats to life.”

Jimmie Johnson: THE C-E-O OF COLONIAL PIPELINE SHARED WHAT IT WAS LIKE MAKING A MULTI-MILLION-DOLLAR RANSOM PAYMENT TO CYBER HACKERS LAST MONTH.
THIS IS JOSEPH BLOUNT AT A SENATE HOMELAND SECURITY COMMITTEE HEARING.
HE SAYS IT WAS ONE OF THE TOUGHEST DECISIONS HE’S HAD TO MAKE IN HIS LIFE.
HE ALSO SAID IT WAS THE RIGHT THING TO DO — DESPITE AUTHORITIES DISCOURAGING MAKING SUCH PAYMENTS.
Joseph Blount: “I know how critical our pipeline is to the country. And I put the interests of the country first. I kept the information closely held because we were concerned about operational safety and security and we wanted to stay focused on getting the pipeline back up and running.”
Jimmie Johnson: THE RANSOM REQUEST WAS 75 BITCOIN — THEN VALUED AT ABOUT 4-POINT-4 MILLION DOLLARS.
ON MONDAY — THE U.S. JUSTICE DEPARTMENT RECOVERED ABOUT 2-POINT-3 MILLION OF THOSE FUNDS IN A MASSIVE WORLDWIDE STING OPERATION.
THE BUST INVOLVED 16 COUNTRIES — ARRESTING MORE THAN 800 PEOPLE IN 700 RAIDS.
THE STING ALSO LED TO THE SEIZURE OF 8 TONS OF COCAINE AND 48 MILLION DOLLARS IN CASH AND CRYPTOCURRENCIES.

Suzanne Turner: “The amount of intelligence that we received was staggering. From seizing drugs, guns and millions of dollars in multiple currencies to addressing more than 150 threats to life.”

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Colonial Pipeline CEO Joseph Blount testified Tuesday morning before the Senate Homeland Security Committee about last month’s ransomware attack.

Blount called the decision to pay the roughly $4.4 million ransom one of the most difficult he has had to make in his life.

He said it was the right thing to do, even though authorities typically say to not pay ransom.

“I know how critical our pipeline is to the country. And I put the interests of the country first,” Blount said. “I kept the information closely held because we were concerned about operational safety and security and we wanted to stay focused on getting the pipeline back up and running.”

The U.S. Department of Justice announced Monday it had recovered $2.3 million worth of the ransom money.

The recovery was part of a worldwide sting operation called Trojan Shield.

More than 800 people were arrested in 700 raids in 16 countries.

“The amount of intelligence that we received was staggering,” FBI Special Agent-in-charge Suzanne Turner said. “From seizing drugs, guns and millions of dollars in multiple currencies to addressing more than 150 threats to life.”