During the early part of May, Colonial Pipeline was the victim of a ransomware attack that forced the company to shut down pipeline operations. Consequently, this resorted to massive fuel shortages on the east coast that not only resulted in higher gas prices but people also rushing to stock up on gasoline.
Seeing no other alternative to quickly resume business, according to BleepingComputer, Colonial Pipeline paid the hacker group that attacked Colonial’s computer networks, named DarkSide, the $5 million ransom the hackers demanded. Shortly after the ransom was paid, a rival hacker gang seized DarkSide’s servers resulting in the hacker collective shutting down.
Almost a month later, BleepingComputer reports, the U.S. Justice Department announced today that most of the ransom Colonial Pipeline paid has been recovered. The DOJ said that the FBI was able to gain access to a seized cryptocurrency wallet that contained what was left of the ransom payment.
No doubt most environmentalists were looking at the bright side of the Colonial Pipeline hack attack like they did with COVID-19. One distinct possibility is the hacker group that seized DarkSide’s servers might have turned over access to DarkSide’s applications, like their cryptocurrency account, to the FBI out of sympathy for what happened to Colonial Pipeline. None the less, this is a very good development and, hopefully, federal authorities will be able to catch and prosecute DarkSide and any other hacker groups involved in cyber attacks very soon.
Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay