The US Department of Justice said on Monday that it has recovered most of the ransomware Colonial Pipeline paid to hackers in last month's attack by seizing its bitcoin wallet, a total of $ 2.3 million.
"Following the Colonial Pipeline's prompt action in law enforcement, and in accordance with a seizure order issued by the United States District Court for the Northern District of California earlier today, the Justice Department has found and recaptured the majority of the ransom paid to the Dark Side Network" behind the attack said Deputy Attorney General Lisa O. Monaco at a news conference.
Ms Monaco said, "By monitoring the entire ecosystem powered by ransomware and digital extortion attacks ̵
She said the seizure was carried out as part of the DOJ's recently launched working group on ransomware and digital extortion, which was set up to investigate, disrupt and prosecute ransomware. and digital extortion activity.
The department later announced speaking. that Colonial Pipeline had paid a redemption claim of about 75 bitcoins, and that it had recovered about 63.7 bitcoins, which are currently valued at about $ 2.3 million.
During the press conference, the FBI's Deputy Director Paul Abbate said the variant DarkSide hackers used in the attack was one of 100 ransomware variants that the FBI is currently investigating.
He said the FBI has identified more than 90 victims of DarkSide in several sectors, including insurance, law, manufacturing, healthcare and energy.
Colonial Pipeline CEO Joseph Blount said his company paid a $ 4.4 million ransom to the hackers. The 5,500-mile Colonial Pipeline system was shut down after the most disruptive cyber attack on record, preventing millions of barrels of gasoline, diesel and jet fuel from flowing to the east coast from the Gulf Coast.
Mr. Blount issued a statement after the press conference, saying in part: "When Colonial was attacked on May 7, we quietly and quickly contacted the local FBI field offices in Atlanta and San Francisco and prosecutors in Northern California and Washington, DC to share with them what we knew at the time.
“The Department of Justice and the FBI helped us understand the threat and their tactics. Their efforts to hold these criminals accountable and bring them to justice are commendable. ”