Energy & Environment

Colonial CEO apologizes for pipeline attack’s impact

Colonial Pipeline CEO Joseph Blount apologized on Tuesday for the impact of a cyberattack that shut down the major fuel provider last month. 

“I want to express my gratitude to the employees of Colonial Pipeline, and the American people, for your actions and support as we responded to the attack and dealt with the disruption that it caused,” Blount said during a Senate hearing. 

“We are deeply sorry for the impact that this attack had,” he added in his opening statement before the chamber’s Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee. 

The pipeline, which supplies about 45 percent of the East Coast’s fuel, shut down for several days following a ransomware attack on its system. 

Many gas stations on the East Coast were without fuel, though analysts linked this largely to panic-buying that ensued rather than an actual fuel shortage. 

Blount also defended the company’s decision to keep information about a ransom payment it made to the hackers “as confidential as possible.”

“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. I believe with all my heart it was the right choice to make,” he said.

Tags Colonial Pipeline Colonial Pipeline cyberattack cyberattacks Ransomware

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