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Colonial Pipeline CEO paid ransom to swiftly restart pipeline - testimony

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Holding tanks are pictured at Colonial Pipeline's Linden Junction Tank Farm in Woodbridge, New Jersey, U.S., May 10, 2021. REUTERS/Hussein Waaile

WASHINGTON, June 7 (Reuters) - The chief executive of Colonial Pipeline said he paid a ransom to hackers who had hijacked his company's computers in order to get the widely used pipeline "back up and running" as quickly as possible, according to written congressional testimony seen by Reuters on Monday.

The 5,500-mile (8,850-km) Colonial Pipeline Co (COLPI.UL) system closed for several days in May after one of the most disruptive cyberattacks on record, preventing millions of barrels of gasoline, diesel and jet fuel from flowing to the East Coast from the Gulf Coast.

Chief Executive Joseph Blount will also say the company believes the attacker exploited an abandoned virtual private network account to get inside its network.

Reporting by Joseph Menn

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