DOJ Recovers $2.3 Mln Of Colonial Pipeline Ransom Money

(RTTNews) - The U.S Justice Department said on Monday that investigators have recovered $2.3 million in cryptocurrency, which was paid as ransom to hackers who shut down the East Coast pipeline last month. In April, hackers had got access to Colonial Pipelines computer networks using a compromised password, thus leading to the shutdown of the country's biggest fuel distribution companies along the East Coast. The hacking led to fuel outages and hoarding across the entire region for nearly a week. Colonial Pipeline Co. CEO Joseph Blount had earlier said that the company had given the $4.4 million ransom demand as officials did not have any knowledge of the extent of intrusion by hackers and how much time it will take to get everything running as before. The Justice Department said that it had seized the $2.3 million in bitcoins to members of a criminal hacking group called the DarkSide, which was being investigated by the FBI since the last one year. The Russia-based group was known to circulate its malware tools with other criminal hacking groups. Commenting on the developments, Lisa Monaco, President Biden's Deputy Attorney General said, "The sophisticated use of technology to hold businesses and even whole cities hostage for profit is decidedly a 21st century challenge, but the old adage 'follow the money' still applies. Today we turned the tables on DarkSide."

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