DOJ recovers most of ransom Colonial Pipeline paid to DarkSide hackers – By Jerry Dunleavy (Washington Examiner) / June 7 2021
“Ransomware and digital extortion pose a national security and an economic security threat to the United States. The Department of Justice, with our partners, is committed to using all the tools at our disposal to disrupt these networks and the abuse of the online infrastructure that allows this threat to persist,” Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco said Monday. “The sophisticated use of technology to hold businesses and even whole cities hostage for profit is decidedly a 21st-century challenge — but the old adage ‘follow the money’ still applies. And that’s exactly what we do.”
Monaco added: “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, the 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. Ransomware attacks are always unacceptable, but when they target critical infrastructure, we will spare no effort in our response.”
The cyberattack and ransomware effort by DarkSide last month forced Colonial Pipeline to halt its operations in an effort to deal with the incident. The pipeline, which begins in Texas and transports gasoline and jet fuel to the East Coast and the southeastern U.S., was responsible for delivering up to 45% of fuel for the East Coast. President Joe Biden declared a state of emergency on May 9 related to the fuel disruption, and what was likely the largest cyberattack on U.S. infrastructure yet led to a nearly weeklong shutdown.