216 Interactions, 4 today
Officials from the Department of Justice said on Monday that they had dealt a significant blow to the perpetrators of the Colonial Pipeline cyber assault. According to the senior official, they were able to confiscate the majority of the monies given as ransom (in BTC) to the notorious gang responsible for contracting the DarkSide ransomware assault. This led to speculation that the hackers’ bitcoin wallet had been compromised by the FBI.
Pipelines can go bust but not Bitcoin
Colonial System was hit by a ransomware assault in May, forcing them to shut down the whole pipeline. Despite the fact that the business was only shut down for a short period of time, it generated an energy crisis in the Southeastern United States. Colonial Pipelines agreed to pay a ransom of 75 Bitcoin in order to restore operations.
When another ransomware assault was carried out on Meatpacker JBS, officials were closely watching the issue. According to the DOJ, they confiscated cash from a group that allegedly paid DarkSide for a Ransomware as a service [RaaS] assault against Colonial.
“The FBI successfully seized criminal proceeds from a Bitcoin wallet..” pic.twitter.com/F9RCKqSiBD
— Acyn (@Acyn) June 7, 2021
While the authorities took delight in getting funding, their briefing left the modus operandi unexplained. According to many notable news outlets, “the seizure on Monday marked a first-of-its-kind effort by a new DOJ task force to hijack a cybercriminal group’s profits through a hack of its Bitcoin wallet.” They must have forgotten, though, that Bitcoin cannot be hacked.
Although the DOJ created a picture of a Bitcoin wallet being broken into, this information from the government did not sit well with many in the community, who pointed out the flaws in the tale. It’s conceivable they recently filed a lawsuit against a Northern California-based exchange or custodial wallet.
Twitter user @JordanSchachtel stated:
“So the “hackers” brought down the largest pipeline on the east coast but couldn’t spend 50 bucks on a clean hardware wallet to secure their bitcoin?
Makes sense to me!”
While Blockstream CEO Adam Back cleared the air about what could have happened:
“#Bitcoin was NOT hacked
No bitcoin wallet was hacked, nor is even known to be possible. Ransom hackers used a rented cloud server. FBI got a subpoena and took control of it and recovered coins. That’s it.”
The servers of DarkSide were seized but the information provided by the DOJ about “hacking” Bitcoin can be put to rest. The warrant issued for the seizure can be viewed under:
Waking up to more #Bitcoin FUD 😆
Ask yourself why did the government need and use a warrant for seizure if they could “hack the wallet”?
— Danny Scott (@CoinCornerDanny) June 8, 2021