Paying ransom was 'right choice' - Colonial CEO

"I believe with all my heart it was the right choice to make," Blount said.

Senators questioned Colonial Pipeline Chief Executive Joseph Blount about whether the company was sufficiently prepared for a ransomware attack and the company's timeline for responding to the attack.

Some suggested Colonial had not sufficiently consulted with the U.S. government before paying the ransom against federal guidelines.

Colonial did not specifically have a plan for a ransomware attack, but did have an emergency response plan, Blount told the committee. The company reached out to the FBI within hours of the cyber attack, he said.

He said the attack occurred using a legacy Virtual Private Network (VPN) system that did not have multifactor authentication in place.

The Justice Department on Monday said it had recovered some $2.3 million in cryptocurrency ransom paid by Colonial Pipeline.

Colonial Pipeline previously had said it paid the hackers nearly $5 million to regain access. The value of the cryptocurrency bitcoin has dropped to below $35,000 in recent weeks after hitting a high of $63,000 in April.

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