The Federal Government has recovered millions of dollars from the pipeline ransom hackers. Because of the amount of time it took to get back up and running, I had suggested they must have paid the ransom. The amount was a staggering $4.4 million dollars. And…I am sure that was the negotiated amount. My guess is they started at $10 million but of course I am only guessing! Still, recovering the money is outstanding!! Could this be the beginning of ruining the ransomware industry?
Could this Be the Beginning?
The Justice Department said they have recovered over $2.5 million of the ransom. The announcement details a rare disruption of the cryptocurrency payment systems favored by hackers that have enabled ransomware efforts around the world.
The FBI was able to seize control of DarkSide’s proceeds by gaining access to a central account holding about 63.7 bitcoins, worth around $2.3 million, Deputy Director Paul Abbate said. A court document
said that the seizure took place in Northern California, putting it within reach of U.S. law, and that the FBI was able to access the “private key,” or password, for one of the gang’s bitcoin wallets. It was unclear how the key was compromised. Solving the Bitcoin wallet is 99% of what needs to be done to end these awful attacks. Bitcoin gives them a place to receive and hide the money they collect. Bitcoin is a series of wallets that makes it very difficult to trace. In this case, there were a lot of bitcoins in one particular wallet. I’m sure there is much more to this, but this is all I know.
The FBI declined to give specifics on how they were able to gain access to the wallet, which is totally understandable. They don’t want to give up this information since they will be using it again. Ransomware gangs have been responsible for more than 1,000 hacks worldwide this year and those are the ones we know of. Let’s hope this is just the beginning in stomping out these greedy gangs.