US recovers most of $ 4.4 million ransom ransom paid by Colonial Pipeline | News about cybercrime

U.S. intelligence officials say stopping cyberattacks has become a national security priority, and that President Biden plans to launch attacks when he meets with Russian President Vladimir Putin next week.

From Bloomberg

The United States has recovered most of its $ 4.4 million cryptocurrency ransom paid to the perpetrators of a cyber attack on Colonial Pipeline Co. last month that temporarily cut off fuel supplies to the east coast of the United States. This was stated by Deputy Prosecutor General Lisa Monaco.

“Ransomware attacks are always unacceptable, but when they target potential infrastructure, we will spare no effort to respond,” Monaco told reporters on Monday.

FBI Deputy Director Paul Ebbat said law enforcement officers discovered the virtual wallet, which was used to pay the ransom, and then recovered the funds. He said investigators had identified more than 90 companies as victims of DarkSide, a Russian-linked cybercrime group accused of breaking the pipeline.

“Today we turned the tables on DarkSide,” said Monaco, as he called on companies to invest more to protect their strong infrastructure and intellectual property. “DarkSide և its subsidiaries have been digitally pursuing US companies for most of last year.”

The ransom attack in May led to fuel shortages at gas stations in several states, and even affected some airlines. It was part of a growing trend of such actions against potential infrastructure, which is soon to be tested by President Biden’s administration.

The Colonial Pipeline ended up paying for DarkSide to help restore its operations.

U.S. intelligence officials say stopping hacker attacks has become a national security priority, and that the issue has raised tensions between Russia and the United States. Biden plans to launch a hacker attack when he meets with Russian President Vladimir Putin next week, White House spokesman En Psaki said.

The message at Geneva’s personal meeting on June 16 will be that “responsible states do not detain ransomware criminals, responsible countries must take decisive action against those ransomware networks,” Psaki said. Putin denied knowing or was involved in ransom attacks.

Brazil-based JBS SA, the world’s largest meat producer, resumed beef production last week after a hacking attack forced it to suspend operations around the world.

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