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Yesterday, Joe Biden spoke about the issue with the Colonial Pipeline, “I think you’re going to hear some good news in next 24 hours. And I think we’ll be getting that under control,” said Biden.
Then came the news from Colonial that they would be opening back up the pipeline they shut down after the cyber attack.
Turns out there was a lot more to the story that the Biden folks weren’t saying.
Remember when a reporter asked the Biden folks about the question of ransom and what they were saying to Colonial in regard to whether or not they should pay the ransom?
As we reported, Deputy National Security Advisor for Cyber and Emerging Technology Anne Neuberger responded that whether or not Colonial Pipeline pays ransom to these attackers is a “private sector decision” and acted as though they had no discussion with the company about it.
Biden White House: It’s a “private sector decision” as to whether a ransom will be paid to bring the Colonial Pipeline back online pic.twitter.com/6p59SDYgdS
— Tom Elliott (@tomselliott) May 10, 2021
I noted what an odd response this was to such a national security threat and serious federal crime, particularly given that the Pipeline serves 45% of the gasoline and other fuel on the East Coast.
Turns out maybe we were getting that odd response because they didn’t want to admit that a ransom had already been paid and they wanted to distance themselves from the decision.
Now Bloomberg is reporting that Colonial paid nearly $5 million to the hackers who are believed to be connected to Dark Side located in Russia or Eastern Europe, “according to two people familiar with the transaction.”
Not only that, the report is they paid within hours of the attack in cryptocurrency. “A third person familiar with the situation said U.S. government officials are aware that Colonial made the payment.” Oh. So when that question was asked of Neuberger, she already knew they paid the ransom, if this report is correct. But she just wasn’t saying.
According to Bloomberg, the Washington Post and Reuters apparently got it completely wrong, both reporting that the company wasn’t going to pay a ransom, according to “anonymous sources.”
So exactly what role did the Biden team play in this? And why did they buffalo us on this for days? If the ransom was paid within hours, that means it was paid sometime Friday or Saturday. It’s now Thursday when we’re finally getting the facts, and those facts aren’t coming from the Biden people.
Yes, you can “get it under control,” Joe Biden, if you completely cave and pay ransom. What happened to that concept of not negotiating with terrorists/people holding you up, because when they know it works, they’re going to do more of it?
But recall, the Obama administration had no issue with paying a ransom to Iran. So perhaps Biden wants to carry on in that inglorious tradition. In which case, expect more such attacks.