Some time ago, Colonial Pipeline, the largest pipeline company in the United States, delivering gas and oil, was attacked by hackers from the DarkSide group. Taking advantage of a vulnerability in the system, the attackers encrypted its data, freezing its work and demanding a ransom for $ 5 million – naturally, in bitcoins. The pipeline’s management decided to pay the hackers, but now the FBI has managed to get the money back by unlocking the attackers’ cryptocurrency wallets. True, due to the fall in the bitcoin rate, Colonial Pipeline received only a part of the funds spent on the ransom.
US Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco told the news outlet Reuters that the FBI officers managed to get the access key to the cryptocurrency wallet – how exactly they did it, of course, no one tells. Upon reaching the virtual vault of funds, law enforcement officials confiscated 63.7 bitcoins from the account, transferring these funds to Colonial Pipeline. But, unfortunately, if at the time of the transfer of the ransom, the cryptocurrency was valued at $ 5 million, then at the current exchange rate, it can be sold for only $ 2.3 million.
The FBI representatives do not provide any information about the attackers themselves. But, probably, access to the cryptocurrency wallet was obtained either from the owner itself or from a platform involved in the transfer of cryptocurrency from hand to hand. Based on this, the reliability and security of bitcoin and cryptocurrency wallets, which were previously considered unshakable, have already been questioned on the network. If law enforcement agencies in just a month could seize such an impressive amount, having received an access key from third parties, then there can be no talk of any security.