Monday 7 June 2021 8:56 pm

US recovers $2.3m from Colonial Pipeline ransomware attack

US authorities today said they had recovered around $2.3m (£1.6m) in cryptocurrency from the ransomware attack on the Colonial Pipeline.

US deputy attorney general Lisa Monaco said investigators had seized 63.7 Bitcoins, now valued at about $2.3m, paid by Colonial after last month’s hack that sparked major shortages at petrol stations along the east coast.

Monaco added that the Justice Department had “found and recaptured the majority” of the ransom paid by Colonial. 

The pipeline operator said it had paid almost $5m to regain access.

The cyber attack saw a criminal group, which the US said operated in Russia, shut down the system for several days and demand a ransom.

The hack prompted a spike in fuel prices, panic buying and shortages in some areas. Residents in Florida joined huge queues at petrol stations amid concerns about the shortages.

The White House has urged business executives to step up security measures to protect against ransomware attacks.

Commerce secretary Gina Raimondo said at the weekend that the Biden administration was looking at all options to defend against ransomware attacks and that the topic would be on the agenda when President Joe Biden meets with Russian President Vladimir Putin this month.