Chris Carlson / AP
The government has recovered the “majority” of the millions of dollars paid in ransom to hackers behind the cyberattack that shut down the Colonial Pipeline last month, officials said on Monday.
“The Department of Justice has tracked down and recovered the majority of the ransom Colonial paid to the Darkside Network, following the ransomware attack last month,” said Lisa Monaco, Deputy Attorney General of the United States, at a press conference.
Monaco said the money was clawed back by the department’s recently formed ransomware and digital extortion task force, which was established as part of the government’s response to an “epidemic” of attacks. ransomware, which has “increased in scope and sophistication over the past few years.”
The ransom was paid in Bitcoin by Colonial Pipeline on the same day it was demanded by Darkside, a ransomware developer who rents their software for a fee, in exchange for a fee, or a share of the proceeds.
On Monday, the government successfully collected around 63.7 out of 75 Bitcoin – around $ 4.4 million – which were paid by Colonial Pipeline, Reuters reported.
“The sophisticated use of technology to hold businesses and even entire cities hostage for profit is decidedly a challenge of the 21st century. But the old adage, follow the money, still applies. exactly what we are doing, ”she said.
When attackers target critical infrastructure, she added, the government “will spare no effort in our response.”