US Recovers Bitcoin Used to Pay for Rasonware

The US authorities succeeded in recovering the ransom paid Bitcoin by Colonial Pipeline, according to a CNN report. In May, a cyber attack allegedly carried out by a Russian-backed hacker group called DarkSide halted this company’s operations.

According to the report, the Colonial pipeline controls about 45% of the fuel for the East Coast of the United States. Its chief executive, Joseph Blount, was forced to pay a ransom imposed by a hacker on the control room’s main computer. It is estimated at $4.4 million paid out in 63.7 bitcoins.

The operation was carried out by a ransomware task force set up by the US federal government. This type of attack has become a regular. There is growing concern in the public and the authorities.

Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco said during a press conference:

By going after an entire ecosystem that fuels ransomware and digital currency, we will continue to use all our tools and all our resources to drive up costs and the consequences of ransomware and other cyber attacks.

Deputy National Security Adviser Anne Neuberger has claimed that Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies “enable” this type of crime. Other high-ranking US officials have taken a similar position, such as Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen. Neuberger added, according to CNN:

This is how people get money. With the increase in anonymity and the strengthening of cryptocurrencies, the emergence of shuffling services that mainly work for money laundering has led to the emergence of.

Another representative from the Department of Justice (DOJ) claimed that the funds were seized from the Bitcoin wallet.

Not your keys, nor your bitcoin has never been more true

However, members of the crypto community and niche media seem unconvinced. Freelance journalist Jordan Chatchel questioned the entire process. pretend to ‘Russian hacking’ It has been used “illegally” many times in the past. Therefore, he hints at the possibility of federal authorities withholding basic information.

The independent journalist also pointed out some inconsistencies in the investigation. For example, the authorities claimed to have the password of the hacker’s Bitcoin wallet. he is He said:

Why do you need a court order if you have a password for their wallet? And the opposite is also true. If the bitcoin is transferred to a custodian wallet, you do not need the password(s).

Schachtel wonders how the authorities obtained the private key in the first place. The official report only states that the ransom was transferred to “a specific address, the key to which is held by the FBI.” The available information seems to rule out the possibility of the feds getting the private keys to the BTC wallet, the hackers may have used a central exchange as the custodian of the ransom.

So it seems I was right. The FBI did not obtain the private keys. Instead, they took legal action against an exchange or some kind of custodian wallet that had servers in Northern California (Coinbase, lol?). These “pirates” were blatantly inept.

Preston Byrne, partner at Anderson Kill Law, summed up the whole process. Both the journalist and Bayern concluded that The United States has not done anything innovative.

At the time of writing, BTC is trading at $34,127. On the daily chart, the number one cryptocurrency by market capitalization has been trending lower after a sideways movement in the past weeks.

BTC trends down on the daily chart. Source: BTCUSD TradingView

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