Colonial Pipeline paid a $5 million ransom—and saved a vicious cycle turning

Colonial Pipeline paid a $5 million ransom—and kept a vicious cycle turning

Enlarge (credit score: Sean Rayford | Getty Pictures)

Practically per week after a ransomware assault led Colonial Pipeline to halt gasoline distribution on the East Coast, experiences emerged on Friday that the corporate paid a 75 bitcoin ransom—price as a lot as $5 million, relying on the time of fee—in an try to revive service extra rapidly. And whereas the corporate was in a position to restart operations Wednesday night time, the choice to present in to hackers’ calls for will solely embolden different teams going ahead. Actual progress in opposition to the ransomware epidemic, consultants say, would require extra corporations to say no.

To not say that doing so is simple. The FBI and different legislation enforcement teams have lengthy discouraged ransomware victims from paying digital extortion charges, however in apply many organizations resort to paying. They both haven’t got the backups and different infrastructure essential to recuperate in any other case, cannot or do not wish to take the time to recuperate on their very own, or determine that it is cheaper to only quietly pay the ransom and transfer on. Ransomware teams more and more vet their victims’ financials earlier than springing their traps, permitting them to set the best attainable worth that their victims can nonetheless probably afford.

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