U.S. lawmakers criticizes company's cybersecurity practices

2 minutes

- U.S. lawmakers criticized Capitol Hill's cybersecurity practices as the company's chief executive confronted his second day of questioning on Colonial Pipeline Co..

Why are both east coast pipelines harder than normal? Why did John Katko of New York prepare an interview by the House Homeland Security Committee after an attack?

The Comprehension hearing with Joseph Blount Jr. came after a ransomware attack early last month forced Colonial to shut down. The attack caused fuel prices to rise along the east coast and raised gas shortages. Blount paid a 75-Bit ransom to the attackers on Monday in order to restart operations. On Monday, the FBI announced that it had recouped 67.7 Bitcoins from this payment. Because of the declining value of Bitcoin since the ransom was demanded, the American seizure in late May amounted to $2.3 million, just over half the $4.4 million paid weeks before the ransom was discovered.

I hope Colonial will use the recovered money to make necessary improvements in its cybersecurity, said Bennie Thompson, the Democratic congressman from Mississippi who chairs the committee.

Blount largely retracted his comments from the day before, when he appeared before a Senate committee, apologizing for the disruption, but defends his company's response. Under questioning, he said that he did not discuss paying a ransom before making the payment with the FBI or other U.S. government agencies.

Blount told the lawmakers that he expected that his company's cyber insurance would cover the cost of the ransom.

'We will be doing differently to do some things, he said. We're heading towards a lot harder and a lot of different architecture than we had before - mainly because we have been compromised and we need to change.

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