$5M Crypto Ransom Paid to Hackers to Restart Colonial Pipeline

Share Article
In Brief
  • Colonial Pipeline restarts operations after paying $5 million ransom.

  • Darkside was the hacker group behind the attack.

  • The group has a history of donating some of the stolen funds to charity.

  • promo

    Free Cloud Mining Providers to Mine Bitcoin in 2021

The Trust Project is an international consortium of news organizations building standards of transparency.

The Colonial Pipeline has begun operating normally again after paying a $5 million ransom in crypto to bad actors who digitally hijacked the pipeline’s controls.

Sponsored



Sponsored

The attack was carried out last week by the hacker group DarkSide. The firm that owns the pipeline initially said that it would not pay hackers.

Crypto ransomsware halts pipeline

However, the pressure to keep fuel going across the Eastern Seaboard forced officials to make the payment, according to sources who spoke to Bloomberg. Ransom payments are generally discouraged by the country’s top law enforcement agencies.

Sponsored



Sponsored

The crypto payment was made hours after the attack, concluding with the hackers providing a decrypting tool to reenable the network. The FBI has said that these hackers are linked to a group called DarkSide, which is likely located in Russia or Eastern Europe.

Ondrej Krehel, chief executive officer and founder of digital forensics firm LIFARS, said that the company had no choice but to make the payment. He even said that $5 million was a relatively small sum,

“Ransom is usually around $25 million to $35 million for such a company. I think the threat actor realized they stepped on the wrong company and triggered a massive government response.”

There hasn’t been too much in the way of updates since the ransom was paid, but it’s likely that the group will offer an update soon enough, if past behavior is anything to go by.

DarkSide — the wannabe Robin Hood?

DarkSide has created quite a stir within the cybersecurity world — not simply for its sophisticated operations but also for its behavior after the attack. The group said that it wants to “make the world a better place.” Such moral dilemmas are proving to be difficult, with U.S. officials also torn over what to do.

To that end, DarkSide has sometimes donated some of the stolen crypto funds to charity. This includes donations to two organizations in October 2020. One of these donations was made to Children International, who later said that it would not keep the tainted funds.

Donation receipt: BBC

The group prefers to target large companies, rendering them non-operative until the ransom is paid. It’s gone so far as to state why it thinks it’s fair to donate to charity,

“We think that it’s fair that some of the money the companies have paid will go to charity. No matter how bad you think our work is, we are pleased to know that we helped changed someone’s life. Today we sended (sic) the first donations.”

The decision to donate to charity has perplexed law enforcement, experts, and victims, as it’s not a common act. One of those attempting to handle these donations is The Giving Block, a crypto platform focused on offering donations to various charities. All the while, more crypto-based donations are being made than ever before.

Disclaimer

All the information contained on our website is published in good faith and for general information purposes only. Any action the reader takes upon the information found on our website is strictly at their own risk.
Sponsored
Share Article

Rahul Nambiampurath is an India-based Digital Marketer who got attracted to Bitcoin and the blockchain in 2014. Since then, he has guided a number of startups navigate the complex digital marketing and media outreach landscapes. His work has even influenced distinguished cryptocurrency exchanges and DeFi platforms worth millions of dollars. He has a Masters degree in Finance.

Follow Author

Crypto predictions with the Best Telegram Signal with +70% accuracy!

Join now

Free Cloud Mining Providers to Mine Bitcoin in 2021

Go

How To Mine Cryptocurrency: Beginner’s Guide

Let's Go