The US Department of Justice seized $2.3 million in cryptocurrency from hackers, most of which was paid by Colonial Pipeline, the owner of the largest oil pipeline in the United States, after a cyber attack in May.
Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco said that investigators found and confiscated 63.7 bitcoins, which are now worth 2.3 million U.S. dollars and returned most of the ransom.
This is the ransom paid by Colonial Pipeline to hackers who attacked its system and shut down the pipeline in May, resulting in a severe gasoline shortage on the East Coast of the United States.
During the investigation, the FBI obtained a private key that can access most of the bitcoin accounts used for the ransom, but it is not clear how the FBI obtained the key. The San Francisco court has approved the seizure of funds.
According to the FBI, the hacking was carried out by DarkSide, a Russian-based cybercrime group. After the attack, Colonial Pipeline paid hackers approximately $5 million in cryptocurrency to access its network, while at the same time, the value of Bitcoin has fallen to $34,000 in recent weeks.