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Colonial Pipeline Chief to Testify in Senate Panel on Ransomware Hack

WASHINGTON—The chief executive of the pipeline company hit in a multimillion-dollar ransomware attack last month is expected to testify Tuesday on Capitol Hill about the company’s cybersecurity practices and its decision to pay the hackers.

Joseph Blount of Colonial Pipeline Co. is scheduled to appear before the Senate Homeland Security Committee, roughly one month after his company suffered a ransomware attack on its business computer systems. The attack prompted Colonial Pipeline to shut down the 5,500-mile pipeline pumping gasoline, diesel, jet fuel and other refined products from the Gulf Coast to Linden, N.J.

On Monday, the Justice Department said authorities had recovered roughly $2.3 million in digital currency paid to the hackers, a suspected Russian gang known as DarkSide.

The Colonial stoppage spurred a run on gasoline along parts of the East Coast that pushed prices to the highest levels in more than six years, leaving thousands of gas stations without fuel. The attack has prompted senior Biden administration officials to warn that ransomware represents an elevated national security risk.

Mr. Blount told The Wall Street Journal last month that his company paid a $4.4 million ransom to the hackers because executives were unsure how badly the cyberattack had breached its systems.

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