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The FBI accused the DarkSide hacker group of extorting bitcoins from Colonial Pipeline, the largest US supplier of gas and oil products.
In 2021, cybercriminals carried out a successful cyberattack on the Colonial Pipeline computer system and infected devices with a ransomware virus that encrypted all files on hard drives. To get the code to decrypt the data, the firm had to pay the racketeers 75 bitcoins, worth $4.4 million at the exchange rate at that time.
Within a month of the incident, US law enforcement managed to recover 63.7 BTC, but the value of the coins was only $2.3 million due to the sharp drop in the price of bitcoin. As a result, the company suffered heavy losses.
Then, using the software of the research company Chainalysis, the FBI traced the ransom transferred by Colonial Pipeline and found out that the digital assets were transferred to a wallet belonging to members of DarkSide. However, the security forces have not identified the cybercriminals.
Cybersecurity experts suggest that DarkSide includes Russians and other residents of the CIS countries, since the software developed by the group does not infect computers that have OS versions in Russian, Ukrainian, Belarusian and other languages of states located in the post-Soviet space.
DarkSide hackers started extorting cryptocurrency in 2020 and made at least $90 million.
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