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US seizes $2.3 mln of ransom payment made to Russia-based hackers

“Today, we turned the tables on DarkSide,” a senior Department of Justice official said.

Published: Updated:

The United States has seized millions of dollars paid to Russian-based hackers as ransom by the country’s largest fuel pipeline, the Justice Department said Monday.

Colonial Pipeline was forced to shut down for almost one week after its computer systems were hacked. The company’s CEO admitted to paying millions of dollars in ransom to the hackers, believed to be called DarkSide Network.

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But US Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco said during a press conference Monday that “today, we turned the tables on DarkSide.”

“After Colonial Pipeline’s quick notification to law enforcement, and pursuant to a seizure warrant issued by the United States District Court for the Northern District of California earlier today, the Department of Justice has found and recaptured the majority of the ransom Colonial paid to the Dark Side Network in the wake of last month’s ransomware attack,” Monaco added.

The Justice Department revealed that 63.7 bitcoins valued at $2.3 million were seized as part of the ransom paid by Colonial Pipeline.

Read more: US gasoline pipeline operator says “normal operations” have resumed