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May 20, 2021

Homeland Security Committee Announces Hearing with Colonial Pipeline CEO After Ransomware Cyber Attack

(WASHINGTON) – Today, Rep. Bennie G. Thompson (D-MS), Chairman of the House Committee on Homeland Security, announced that the Committee will hold a full Committee hearing on June 9 with the CEO of the Colonial Pipeline as part of its ongoing oversight of the cybersecurity of our critical infrastructure after the ransomware attack on the company’s networks last week.

Full Committee Virtual Hearing: Cyber Threats in the Pipeline: Using Lessons from the Colonial Ransomware Attack to Defend Critical Infrastructure

Date: June 9, 2021 at 12pm EDT

Witness: Colonial Pipeline CEO Joseph Blount

Latest info, witness list, and livestream available here.

Additional Homeland Security Committee oversight actions on this attack:

  • On Tuesday, May 11, Committee leaders, along with Transportation and Infrastructure Committee leaders, sent a bipartisan letter to White House National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan requesting an interagency briefing on the Federal response to the attack.
  • On Monday, May 17, the Committee, along with the Oversight and Reform Committee, held a staff level briefing with Colonial Pipeline.
  • On Tuesday, May 18, the Committee held a classified threats briefing for Full and Subcommittee Chairs and Ranking Members with DHS, FBI, and ODNI that focused on the Colonial Pipeline attack.
  • On Wednesday, May 19, the Committee, along with the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, held a joint interagency Member briefing with CISA, TSA, and FBI that was requested on May 11.
  • On Thursday, May 20, the Committee met with officials from the Colonial Pipeline Company to discuss the ransomware attack in advance of the June 9, 2021 hearing.

"The Colonial Pipeline ransomware attack and the related fuel shortages laid bare three urgent challenges facing the nation: cybersecurity vulnerabilities in critical infrastructure, the need to build resilience into our networks, and the profitability of ransomware," said Chairman Thompson. "To address these urgent challenges, Congress must have a complete understanding of what happened on Colonial Pipeline’s networks, how it made decisions related to network operations and ransom payments, and how it leveraged support from the Federal government and private sector.

"As we do our work to investigate what happened at Colonial Pipeline, we must not make the mistake of taking a siloed approach to addressing cybersecurity vulnerabilities in critical infrastructure. The reality is cyber attacks against critical infrastructure will have cross-sector impacts. Federal policy should be rooted in that reality, as it has been since September 11, 2001. Moving forward, we will work to build a stronger understanding of cybersecurity vulnerabilities to critical infrastructure and the interdependencies among sectors to inform policies that will encourage mitigation and build resilience."

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