The federal government scored a rare victory over hackers by recovering some of the ransom paid by Colonial Pipeline.
The$2.3 million was recovered by a new organization, the Ransomware and Digital Extortion Task Force, created as part of the government’s response to cyberattacks.
Colonial Pipeline paid about $4.4 million May 8 to regain access to its computer systems after ransomware shut down its oil and gas pipelines.
It’s very unusual for authorities to recoup ransom payments, usually made in Bitcoin and other unregulated cryptocurrencies,
Authorities did not say how they recovered the money except to reveal they used the encryption key for the Bitcoin account to which the ransom money was delivered.
There are several theories about how investigators obtained the encryption key. They include:
•A tipster provided valuable information.
•The criminals got careless.
•The task force leveraged information from Bitcoin exchanges.
Keep up the good work
Whatever the method, let’s hope this task force recovers more ransom and thwarts more hackers, who have been disrupting numerous businesses around the globe.
Unfortunately, many of the hackers live in countries that don’t allow the United States to extradite cybercriminals or other lawbreakers.