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Feds Recover More Than $2 Million in Ransomware Payments from Colonial Pipeline Hackers


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Holding tanks at Colonial Pipeline's Linden Junction Tank Farm in Woodbridge, New Jersey, U.S., May 10, 2021. REUTERS/Hussein Waaile  Holding tanks are pictured at Colonial Pipeline's Linden Junction Tank Farm in Woodbridge, NJ.

The seizure of funds paid by Colonial Pipeline to a Russian hacker ring marks the first recovery by a new ransomware Justice Department task force.

Credit: Hussein Waaile/REUTERS

U.S. officials say more than $2 million in cryptocurrency payments to the hackers who held Colonial Pipeline hostage in May has been recovered, marking the first recovery by the U.S. Department of Justice's new ransomware task force.

Federal Bureau of Investigation deputy director Paul Abbate said the bureau seized proceeds paid to the Russian DarkSide hacker ring from a digital "wallet" containing the ransom, after securing a warrant from a federal judge.

An affidavit said the bureau acquired the wallet's "private key," while officials have not disclosed how it was obtained.

In announcing the seizure, Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco said, "The sophisticated use of technology to hold businesses and even whole cities hostage for profit is decidedly a 21st century challenge. But the adage, ‘follow the money’, still applies."

From The Washington Post
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