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Law Enforcement Officials Retrieve $2.3M in Ransomware Payments From Colonial Pipeline Hackers; Paul Abbate Quoted

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Data-Centric Security
Data-Centric Security Management

Officials from the FBI and the Department of Justice (DOJ) announced Monday the recovery of $2.3 million in bitcoin paid to a group of cyber hackers responsible for the ransomware attack on Colonial Pipeline, CNBC reported.

Paul Abbate, deputy director of the FBI, said agents identified the digital currency wallet used by the DarkSide group to collect ransomware payments from the oil company.

“Using law enforcement authority, victim funds were seized from that wallet, preventing Dark Side actors from using them,” Abbate said during the press briefing Monday.

In May, DarkSide launched a ransomware attack on Colonial Pipeline that resulted in the shutdown of about 5,500 miles of fuel pipeline and gas shortages in the southeast. A source told CNBC that the oil company paid a ransom of nearly $5 million to the threat actors.

“The message here today is that [if you report the attack], we will bring all of our tools to bear to go after these criminal networks,” Lisa Monaco, deputy attorney general at DOJ, said during the press briefing.

Abbate also stressed the need for companies to immediately report cyberthreats to the FBI.

“Victim reporting not only can give us the information we need to have an immediate real-world impact on the actors … it can also prevent future harm from occurring,” Abbate said.

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If you want to know more about the latest updates about the Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification, then check out Potomac Officers Club’s CMMC Forum coming up on June 16. To register for this virtual forum and view other upcoming events, visit the POC Events page.