US Retrieves Part of Colonial Pipeline Ransom

The DOJ recovered $2.3 million in Bitcoin. Last month, when the Colonial Pipeline was shut down by a ransomware attack, temporarily halting the flow of fuel to several major...


The DOJ recovered $2.3 million in Bitcoin.

Last month, when the Colonial Pipeline was shut down by a ransomware attack, temporarily halting the flow of fuel to several major areas of the United States, the managers of the pipeline were forced to pay $4.4 million in Bitcoin to regain control. While it is often extremely difficult to track ransomed money, even when it isn’t in the form of cryptocurrency, the US Department of Justice had no intention of letting the hackers get away with it.

The DOJ’s Ransomware and Digital Extortion Task Force, created in recent months in response to the rising frequency of cyberattacks, was able to successfully track down and retrieve about half of the ransom. $2.3 million in Bitcoin was returned to the US government. According to reports, the Task Force was able to track the funds through the Bitcoin key left behind by the hackers, finding the crypto in the same Bitcoin account where it was first deposited, untouched.

“Ransomware is very seldom recovered,” said April Falcon Doss, executive director of the Institute for Technology Law and Policy at Georgetown Law, who added that the recovery was “a really big win” for the US government. “What we don’t know is whether or not this is going to pave the way for future similar successes.”

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