DOJ recovers $2.3 mln of Colonial Pipeline's ransom

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U.S. DEPUTY ATTORNEY GENERAL LISA MONACO: "Today, we turned the tables on DarkSide."

The U.S. Justice Department announced on Monday that it recovered $2.3 million dollars worth of Bitcoin paid by Colonial Pipeline to DarkSide, the Russian-based ransomware group authorities blame for the most disruptive cyberattack in the U.S. on record.

Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco:

MONACO: "After Colonial Pipeline's quick notification to law enforcement and pursuant to a seizure warrant issued by the United States District Court for the Northern District of California earlier today, he Department of Justice has found and recaptured the majority of the ransom Colonial paid to the DarkSide network in the wake of last month's ransomware attack."

The FBI's deputy director, Paul Abbate, said investigators successfully seized the criminal proceeds from a Bitcoin wallet, collecting 63.7 of the 75 Bitcoin Colonial paid to the hackers.

ABBATE: "We identified a virtual currency wallet that the DarkSide actors use to collect a payment from a victim. Using law enforcement authorities, victim funds were seized from that wallet, preventing DarkSide actors from using them."

Colonial's CEO said last month that his company paid a $4.4 million dollar ransom in cryptocurrency to regain access to its systems and restore the country's largest pipeline.

The ransomware attack caused a six-day outage, leading to a spike in gas prices, panic buying and fuel shortages across the U.S. Southeast.

While the DOJ was able to recover more than 80 percent of the Bitcoin Colonial paid to DarkSide, it was only worth slightly more than half of the full ransom as of Monday... due to the fall in Bitcoin's value in recent weeks.