Colonial Pipeline CEO to testify on Capitol Hill in June

Colonial Pipeline CEO Joseph Blount will testify in June before the House Homeland Security Committee at a hearing one month after the company was forced to shut down operations due to a devastating ransomware attack.

The hearing, which will take place June 9, will focus on the pipeline attack, which resulted in gas shortages in several U.S. states, as well as how to strengthen critical infrastructure.

The pipeline provides around 45 percent of the East Coast’s fuel. Operations were disrupted after the ransomware attack on the company’s IT system forced the company to shut down the pipeline for almost a week to protect operational controls.

Blount will almost certainly face questions about Colonial Pipeline’s decision to pay the cyber attackers the equivalent of around $4.4 million in Bitcoin to regain access to IT systems.

Blount told the Wall Street Journal on Wednesday he had authorized the sum to be paid on the day of the attack, describing it as a “highly controversial decision,” but the “right thing to do for the country.”