The US Department of Justice seized $ 2.3 million in cryptocurrencies from hackers, most of the ransom paid by Colonial Pipeline, the owner of the largest oil pipeline in the States, following a cyber attack in May.
Investigators found and seized 63.7 bitcoins, now worth $ 2.3 million, returning most of the ransom, said Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco.
The ransom was paid by the Colonial Pipeline in May to hackers who attacked their system and shut down the pipeline, leading to a huge shortage of gasoline on the east coast of the United States.
In the investigation, the FBI received a private password for access to the bitcoin account where most of the paid ransom went, but it is not clear how the FBI gained access to that password. A San Francisco court has approved the seizure of the funds.
The hacker attack was carried out by the cybercriminal group DarkSide based in Russia, the FBI said. Colonial Pipeline paid hackers about $ 5 million in cryptocurrency to gain access to their network after the attack, and meanwhile the value of bitcoin has dropped to $ 34,000 in recent weeks.