Home Cyber Crime Colonial Pipeline cyber-attack: US authorities seize $2.3m in DarkSide ransomware payments

Colonial Pipeline cyber-attack: US authorities seize $2.3m in DarkSide ransomware payments

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James Walker

09 June 2021 at 13:39 UTC

Up to date: 09 June 2021 at 13:47 UTC

Funds symbolize a ‘significant slice’ of proceeds for these behind crucial infrastructure assault

The US Department of Justice (DoJ) has seized more than $2.3 million in bitcoin that was allegedly destined to line the pockets of those behind the Colonial Pipeline ransomware attack

The US Division of Justice (DoJ) has seized greater than $2.3 million in bitcoin that was allegedly destined to line the pockets of these behind the Colonial Pipeline ransomware attack.

The funds are mentioned to symbolize a “significant slice” of the proceeds of a ransom cost to these within the ‘DarkSide’ cybercrime group who focused Colonial Pipeline in Could, leading to crucial US infrastructure being quickly taken out of operation.

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Feds-in-the-Center

After its company IT community was compromised in early Could, Colonial Pipeline knowledgeable the FBI it had paid a ransom demand of roughly 75 bitcoin ($4.3 million), in keeping with a DoJ news release issued yesterday (June 9).

As alleged in a supporting affidavit (PDF), after reviewing the bitcoin public ledger, legislation enforcement was in a position to monitor a number of transfers and “determine that roughly 63.7 bitcoins had been transferred to a particular tackle”.

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“This bitcoin represents proceeds traceable to a pc intrusion and property concerned in cash laundering and could also be seized pursuant to prison and civil forfeiture statutes,” the DoJ mentioned.

The FBI was in a position to extract the funds after acquiring the non-public key related to the first DarkSide bitcoin tackle.

“Regardless of the extraordinary lengths the criminals took to cowl the digital tracks of their ill-gotten good points, FBI San Francisco’s investigative crew was relentless and used all technical means to make this seizure,” mentioned FBI particular agent, Craig Honest.

“Hackers and different cybercriminals merely can not depend on cryptocurrency to evade the reaches of legislation enforcement.”

Bowing to calls for

Spanning practically 9,000km between Texas and New York, the Colonial Pipeline is the most important pipeline system for refined oil merchandise within the US. It has the capability to hold as much as 3 million barrels a day between Texas and New York.

Within the days following the ransomware assault, unconfirmed reports were circulating that Colonial Pipeline had paid as much as $5 million in an effort to regain entry to its methods.

The information sparked yet more warnings from both security analysts and the FBI towards the cost of ransoms by sufferer organizations or people, for worry of making a ‘cybercrime suggestions loop’.

Akin to the prevailing insurance policies that many countries take towards refusing to barter with these concerned in finishing up maritime kidnappings, proponents of the non-payment of ransomware calls for say that is the one means to make sure all these cyber-attacks will stop.

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