Colonial Pipeline paid European hackers $5M ransom last week: report

Colonial Pipeline forked over nearly $5 million last week to the Eastern European criminal group that hacked the company, shuttering the largest oil pipeline in the US, spurring widespread gas shortages and panic buying across the Southeast.

Bloomberg News reported that Colonial coughed up the ransom just hours after the ransomware attack took place on Friday. 

The Alpharetta, Georgia-based company paid the ransom in untraceable cryptocurrency, Bloomberg reported, citing two people familiar with the transaction.

Once the hackers received the payment, they provided Colonial with a decrypting tool to restore its downed IT network, according to the outlet, which reported the fix was so slow that the company opted to use its own backups to help restore the system. 

Colonial did not immediately return The Post’s request for comment.

The FBI believes that the crippling cyberattack was orchestrated by a Russia-based criminal group called DarkSide.

The company said it started resuming operations Wednesday evening and by Thursday morning, product was flowing to most of the markets it services.