Biden Says Colonial Pipeline Is Nearing Full Capacity After Hack

President Biden on Thursday welcomed news that gas has begun flowing through a critical pipeline that was shut down by the company after...


President Biden on Thursday welcomed news that gas has begun flowing through a critical pipeline that was shut down by the company after a ransomware attack by hackers, but he said that it would take time to resolve gas shortages along the East Coast and he warned stations not to engage in price gouging.

“They should be reaching full operational capacity as we speak, as I speak to you right now,” Mr. Biden said in remarks from the Roosevelt Room. “That is good news. But we want to be clear, we will not feel the effects at the pump immediately. This is not like flicking on a light switch.”

Colonial Pipeline paid extortionists roughly 75 Bitcoin — or nearly $5 million — to recover its stolen data, according to people briefed on the transaction, clearing the way for gas to begin flowing again but complicating the Biden administration’s efforts to deter future attacks.

Colonial Pipeline made the ransom payment to the hacking group DarkSide after the cybercriminals last week held up the company’s business networks with ransomware, a form of malware that encrypts data until the victim pays, and threatened to release it online. DarkSide is believed to operate from Eastern Europe, possibly Russia.

The company pre-emptively shut down its pipeline, which delivers nearly half of the transport fuels for the Atlantic Coast, setting off a cascading crisis that forced some airlines to make fuel stops on long-haul flights and led to emergency meetings at the White House, a jump in gas prices and panic buying at gas pumps.

Mr. Biden did not rule out the possibility that the administration would target the cybercriminals with a retaliatory strike, saying that the United States would pursue “a measure to disrupt their ability to operate.”

Jen Psaki, the White House press secretary, said the administration was waiting for recommendations from the United States Cyber Command.

Ms. Psaki said it remained the “position of the federal government” not to pay ransoms because the money can encourage criminals to conduct more attacks.

A company representative would neither confirm nor deny on Thursday that executives had paid a ransom. The payment was confirmed by people briefed on the matter, who declined to be identified because the information was confidential. It was earlier reported by Bloomberg on Thursday.

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Newsrust - US Top News: Biden Says Colonial Pipeline Is Nearing Full Capacity After Hack
Biden Says Colonial Pipeline Is Nearing Full Capacity After Hack
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