Colonial Pipeline caved in and gave Darkside hackers 75 BTC to get their oil back
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A US company this week paid 75 Bitcoin ($4.8 million) to Eastern European hackers that had disabled a crucial US East Coast oil pipeline, in another black eye for cryptocurrencies.
Colonial Pipeline made the payment on Monday to the extortionists who had disabled their systems, New York Times cybersecurity reporter Nicole Perlroth reported.
Can confirm that Colonial Pipeline paid its extortionists 75 Bitcoin on Monday- nearly $5 million- to recover stolen data.
— Nicole Perlroth (@nicoleperlroth) May 13, 2021
The shutdown of the 8,000km pipeline led to the panic buying of gasoline, with US President Joe Biden asking for calm from the White House.
The hackers had actually just disabled Colonial Pipeline’s billing system and “flow computer”, but the company shut down the pipeline because it had no way to account for fuel usage, CNN reported.
The hackers, who showed signs of being inexperienced, issued a statement on Thursday saying things had gotten out of hand, according to Mashable.
“Our goal is to make money, and not creating problems for society,” read the statement in part. “From today we introduce moderation and check each company that our partners want to encrypt to avoid social consequences in the future.”
Twitter sleuths were trying to deduce which transaction might be the ransomware one. (Bitcoin transfers are public, unlike transactions using blockchains like Monero and ZCash. It wasn’t clear why the hackers didn’t ask for payment in one of those privacy coins).
Yes 4 out of 7 on that list have too many TX and too much BTC flowing through
But 3GGdjLEWBXZZ7i4v2nqfKST3293P7PBE8X and 3H2FyzT3WbjyqQGPx1xNhpMNBbmidL9tLU fit the bill also
(Latter has a small “trial” amount sent first)
— Cem Paya (@randomoracle) May 14, 2021