Capitol Report: White House says it didn’t offer advice to Colonial Pipeline over paying ransom to hackers

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The Biden administration on Monday said it hasn’t offered advice to Colonial Pipeline about paying a ransom after it was victimized by an attack over the weekend.

On Saturday, Colonial Pipeline said it had suffered a ransomware attack. The company said it halted all pipeline operations to deal with the threat.

Read: Cyberattack halts operations on U.S. East Coast oil pipeline

On Monday afternoon Colonial said it aimed to “substantially” restore service on its system, which provides around 45% of refined fuel needs to the U.S. East Coast, by the end of the week.

The White House said President Joe Biden was being briefed on the incident.

At a briefing on Monday, Anne Neuberger, the deputy national security adviser for cyber, declined to answer if Colonial Pipeline paid a ransom after the attack.

“Colonial is a private company and we’ll defer information regarding their decision on paying a ransom to them,” she said. Neuberger said ransom payment is a “private sector decision” and “the administration has not offered further advice at this time.”

The FBI said in a statement that the Darkside ransomware is responsible for the compromise of the Colonial Pipeline networks. “We continue to work with the company and our government partners on the investigation,” the agency said.

Shares of energy pipeline companies were broadly higher Monday in the aftermath of the attack, even as crude oil futures

reversed earlier gains to trade lower.

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