Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco announces the recovery of millions of dollars worth of cryptocurrency from the Colonial Pipeline Co. ransomware attacks as she speaks with FBI Deputy Director Paul Abbate and acting U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of California Stephanie Hinds at the Justice Department in Washington. (Jonathan Ernst/Pool via AP)
UPDATED 7:35 PM PT – Monday, June 7, 2021
U.S. investigators have seized millions of dollars of the ransom paid by the Colonial Pipeline during last month’s ransomware attack.
On Monday, officials announced they recovered a majority of the funds paid to the criminal cybergroup Darkside, which rocked the East Coast’s oil supply lines. Colonial Pipeline initially paid $4.4 million in cryptocurrency ransom to the hackers.
Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco stated that this has been the first seizure tackled by a new taskforce led by the FBI.
“The seizure announced today was conducted as part of the department’s recently launched ransomware and digital extortion task force,” she explained. “Which was established to investigate, disrupt and prosecute ransomware and digital extortion activity.”
Although the FBI still discourages the payment of ransom demands, the DOJ hopes companies coming forward and working with law enforcement will continue to produce similar results.