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Majority of $4.4 million cryptocurrency ransom payment in Colonial Pipeline hack recovered

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Federal authorities dealt a blow to a criminal hacking group that forced the shutdown of the Colonial Pipeline, recovering the "majority" of the $4.4 million in cryptocurrency ransom paid to restore the energy system, Justice Department officials said Monday.

Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco said the FBI was able to "turn the tables" on the group known as the "DarkSide," believed to be based in Russia.

At a Justice Department briefing, FBI Deputy Director Paul Abbate said investigators were able to trace the payment to a "virtual currency wallet," then seized $2.3 million in cryptocurrency.

Although it is unlikely the hackers would ever face charges in the U.S., Monaco and Abbate said the action represented a significant strike against such groups, "depriving" them of the illicit benefit they seek.

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