WASHINGTON – During a Senate Homeland Security Committee hearing today, U.S. Senator Maggie Hassan (D-NH) pressed Colonial Pipeline President and CEO Joseph A. Blount, Jr. on the recent cyberattack it experienced and its decision to pay hackers a ransom payment. When Senator Hassan asked Mr. Blount if the company had a cybersecurity plan prior to the attack that included guidance about paying a ransom, he said, “Senator specifically, no, no discussion about ransom and action to ransom.”
Senator Hassan also issued the following statement after the hearing:
“It is a stunning admission that Colonial Pipeline did not have a plan in place if hackers requested a ransom payment. I’ve talked with small school districts in my state of New Hampshire that are better prepared for cyberattacks than Colonial Pipeline was. Colonial Pipeline operates critical infrastructure that families and our economy rely on. It is unacceptable that it was so unprepared for a cyberattack, and it is a wakeup call that more must be done to secure our critical infrastructure.”
Watch Senator Hassan’s full hearing questioning here.