The U.S. has recovered a portion of the ransom paid to oil pipeline hackers


Almost all of the bitcoins were “stolen”, but the loss was still high due to the fall in the exchange rate.

As might be expected, the series of events surrounding the hacking of the Colonial Pipeline is not over. As is well known, one of the largest oil pipelines in the United States was paralyzed in May by a group with a presumably Russian background, whose company, which owned the network, eventually paid 75 bitcoin ransoms at nearly $ 5 million at the time, despite explicit protests from the FBI.

The news of effective blackmail has stirred up a great deal of dust as it has raised the question of how many similar actions will be encouraged in the future by the triumph of hackers declared to be traveling only for money. That’s why it’s an encouraging development that U.S. Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco recently reported that authorities have managed to recover 64 bitcoins.

The cryptocurrency was seized on a virtual wallet, which was uncovered by investigators involving civilian experts following the transfer maneuvers of the blackmailers. However, the loss is not small either, because due to the roughly fluctuating exchange rate of bitcoin, the recovered cryptocurrency is only worth roughly half of the amount at the time of payment, $ 2.3 million.

“Blackmailers never see this money. This case demonstrates our determination to develop methods that prevent criminals from putting new payment methods at the service of undeserved profits and blackmail.”

said Stephanie Hinds, the attorney general of the Northern District of California who issued the arrest warrant. The determination proves that this is not the first time the U.S. authorities have managed to intercept cryptocurrency payments. One of these yet it happened last year, when hundreds of millions of dollars in digital donations were seized on accounts linked to ISIS, Al Qaeda, and Palestinian Hamas.

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Source: PC World Online Hírek by pcworld.hu.

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