The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has reclaimed the ransom cryptocurrency paid by Colonial Pipeline to the Russian DarkSide threat actors, amounting to 63.7 Bitcoins or $2.3 million. This was only partial to the $90 million ransom money paid, and the Feds will look more into the wallet trail of the hackers for the entirety of the payment.
It is a win for the Federal justice system and Colonial Pipeline against threat actors like DarkSide which have been the proprietors of the ransomware, one of the many cyberattacks this year. Recently, Colonial Pipeline has paid the ransom demand in April, and the company has immediately regained access and operation to its systems.
Initially, FBI Director Christopher Wray have characterized Colonial Pipeline and the 9/11 attack in New York to be "comparable" in terms of the casualties it brought to the country. Wray said that the risks that were shown by both attacks to the United States were "similarly" difficult to combat and avoid, with a shared responsibility to the private sector.
FBI's Bitcoin Wallet Hack for Colonial Pipeline's Ransom Crypto Payment
The Feds have recently revealed their success in recovering the partial Bitcoin payment made by Colonial Pipeline via a Department of Justice press briefing earlier today. The FBI said that a "private key" was the access to a central wallet, which then led the authorities to a DarkSide member's wallet that contained the said 63.7 Bitcoins.
Bitcoins and other blockchain cryptocurrencies are known to be secure and untraceable, and this took the FBI a lot in their resources and efforts to locate in favor of Colonial Pipeline which initially suffered a $90 million loss.
The operation took place in Northern California, and this made the FBI's reach authorized, as it is within the country and its jurisdictions. The Feds' court document was released earlier today, showing its warrant to seize the found Bitcoin wallet, and this showed the said: "private key" which has opened the way for the authorities to swoop in.
FBI: Don't Want to Share Our Tactics for Future Endeavors
According to FBI San Fransisco's special agent in charge, Elvis Chan, he does not want to share how the Bureau had taken a hold of the cryptocurrency wallet and traced the account of the hackers online. Chan further said that this tactic would be used for future endeavors, and it would be used for the advantages of the authorities.
Ransomware Task Force report shows how much "ransomware" or malware has infiltrated thousands of the country and the world's security network, threatening the very landscape of several industries. It does not only center on technology, but also in other disciplines, even those in the service industry like the Colonial Pipeline.
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Written by Isaiah Richard