Most of the ransom money paid to a group of computer hackers who shut down a major oil and gas pipeline has been recovered, the U.S. Justice Department announced on Monday.
A specialized ransomware task force is being credited for the victory over computer raiders believed to be based in Russia, according to the Associated Press. “By going after the entire ecosystem that fuels ransomware and digital currency, we will continue to use all of our tools and all of our resources to increase the costs and consequences of ransomware and other cyber-enabled attacks,” said Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco.
The incident began on May 7 when the hackers attacked Colonial Pipeline’s computer system. The company took its pipeline offline to keep the breach from spreading into its other systems. The ransom was 75 Bitcoin, with a cash value of about $4.4 million, which the company agreed to pay.
Recovered so far – according to The New York Times – is 63.7 Bitcoin, now valued at approximately $2.3 million. Like gold or silver, the value of “crypto-currency” like Bitcoin changes daily.
Categories: The Wider World