DOJ Says They Took Money Back From Hackers

( Remember when President Joe Biden refused to comment on whether or not millions of dollars had been paid out to the Colonial Pipeline hackers?

Well, that rumor has been totally confirmed after it was revealed that around $4 million worth of Bitcoin that was paid out to the DarkSide criminal cyberhacking group has been seized by American authorities.

Joseph Blount, the CEO of the Colonial Pipeline, also revealed back in May in an interview with The Wall Street Journal that the company paid the massive $4.4 million ransom fee to hackers because they didn’t know just how deeply their systems had been hacked and how long it would take to get their systems fully up and running again.

But Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco revealed on Monday during a press conference that United States authorities had found and recaptured most of the fee paid to the DarkSide hacking network.

She said that they had “turned the tables” on DarkSide by going after the ecosystem that fueled digital extortion and ransomware attacks.

She’s talking about cryptocurrency.

Monaco added that the United States federal authorities will continue to use all resources at their disposal to recover payments made to hackers during ransomware attacks, and to continue to fight against cyberhackers.

FBI Director Christopher Wray added that they don’t want to make it appear as though paying ransom fees is the “norm,” and that on some occasions the FBI has been able to work with various partners to identify the encryption keys that help victims of hacking recover their data without paying the hackers.

The Department of Justice revealed that the FBI managed to locate 75 Bitcoins paid during the Colonial Pipeline hack, which was valued at $4.4 million when it was made. However, the value of the cryptocurrency has since dripped fairly dramatically, meaning that they have technically recovered less.

Out of those 75 Bitcoins located, some 63.7 were seized from a crypto wallet.

It was the first successful seizure of ransom by the Department of Justice’s recently establish Ransomware and Digital Extortion Task Force.

This could be an important step towards discouraging hackers from extorting American businesses.