The announcement confirms CNN’s earlier reporting about the FBI-led operation, which was carried out with cooperation from Colonial Pipeline, the company that fell victim to the ransomware attack in question.
Specifically, the Justice Department said it seized approximately $2.3 million in Bitcoins paid to individuals in a criminal hacking group known as DarkSide. The FBI said it has been investigating DarkSide, which is said to share its malware tools with other criminal hackers, for over a year.
But behind the scenes, the company had taken early steps to notify the FBI and followed instructions that helped investigators track the payment to a cryptocurrency wallet used by the hackers, believed to be based in Russia.
“Following the money remains one of the most basic, yet powerful, tools we have,” Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco said Monday during the DOJ announcement, which followed CNN’s reporting about the recovery operation. “Ransom payments…