U.S Recover $2.3M Ransom Colonial Pipeline Paid Russian Hackers After Cyber Attack Sparked Fuel Crisis
U.S recover $2.3 million of Bitcoin ransom that Colonial Pipeline Company paid Russian Hackers after Cyber Attack sparked fuel crisis.
The recovered sum is part of the nearly $5 million Colonial Pipeline paid to the hackers last month.
The U.S. government says it has retrieved “millions” in ransom money that Colonial Pipeline Company paid in cryptocurrency to Russian hackers who shut down the major pipeline last month.
Colonial said it paid hackers nearly $5 million after the system disruption led to panic buying and a gas shortage along much of United States East Coast last month.
In exchange for the payment — which totaled 75 transactions in all — Colonial Pipeline received a decryption tool that allows the company to unlock its hacked servers.
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While praising an unusual feat for investigators handling such crimes, Justice Department announced that it had “found and recaptured” 63.7 Bitcoins paid by the Colonial Pipeline company.
The FBI says it identified DarkSide, a Russia-based cybercrime group, as the culprit behind the hacking. According to reports, FBI said it got access to a private key to unlock the Bitcoin wallet that had received the majority of the funds from Colonial.
It’s not clear how FBI obtained access to the key, but a judge in San Francisco reportedly approved seizing the funds from this “cryptocurrency address.”
“Today, we turned the tables on DarkSide,” Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco said at a news conference announcing the recapturing of funds.