After an attack on a US pipeline, the Department of Justice reclaims millions of dollars paid to hackers.
According to officials, the US Justice Department has recovered the majority of a multimillion-dollar ransom payment made to hackers following a cyberattack that forced the operator of the nation's largest fuel pipeline to halt operations last month.
The operation to recover the cryptocurrency from the Russia-based hacker group is the first one carried out by the Biden administration's specialist ransomware taskforce, and it represents what US officials believe is an increasingly aggressive approach to dealing with a ransomware threat that has threatened critical industries around the world in the last month.
At a news conference announcing the operation, deputy attorney general Lisa Monaco said, "By going after an entire ecosystem that fuels ransomware and digital currencies, we will continue to use all of our tools and all of our resources to increase the costs and implications of ransomware attacks and other cyber-enabled attacks."
Darkside claimed responsibility for the attack on the Colonial Pipeline.
“DarkSide is a ransomware-as-a-service network,” Monaco explained. “This means that developers sell or lease ransomware to be used in attacks in exchange for a fee or a share of the proceeds.”