The US investigators were able to recover a part of the ransom that was paid to the DarkSide hackers after a cyberattack on the Colonial Pipeline fuel pipeline operator said the US Department of Justice. Approximately 63.7 Bitcoins were seized by officials, an amount valued at about $2.3 million. US investigators reportedly tracked the payment to a cryptocurrency wallet being used by DarkSide.
According to the ministry, they managed to return about $ 2.3 million, which were transferred to hackers in cryptocurrency. The US Department of Justice explained that, according to the authorities, this is a significant part of the money that the Colonial Pipeline operator paid to the cyber fraudsters who attacked its systems.
“Ransomware attacks are always unacceptable, but when they target critical infrastructure, we will spare no effort in our response. … Today, we turned the tables on DarkSide,” US Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco said. “This work is important, because every day, the digital threats we face are more diverse, more sophisticated and more dangerous.”
On May 7, a hacker attack paralyzed the operation of the Colonial Pipeline, which transports fuel from Texas to the east coast of the United States. On May 11, the operator announced a gradual reopening of operations. However, Colonial Pipeline later confirmed that the $ 4.4 million ransom was paid to DarkSide hackers.
During the cyber attack in May, the residents all along the US East Coast experienced an extensive gas shortage for a period of days, even after the pipeline restarted its operations. At the height of the shortage, the national average for gas prices topped out at $3 per gallon for the first time in years.