South Asia and Beyond

U.S. Seizes $2.3 Mn In Bitcoin Paid As Ransom

The U.S. Department of Justice (DoJ) has seized 63.7 bitcoins currently valued at approximately $2.3 million. These funds, the DoJ says, “allegedly represent the proceeds of a May 8 ransom payment to individuals in a group known as DarkSide, which had targeted Colonial Pipeline, resulting in critical infrastructure being taken out of operation.” The FBI describes DarkSide as a Russia-based cybercrime group. Colonial Pipeline had reported to the FBI that it paid a ransom of nearly $5 million to regain access. The seizure was possible because the FBI had a private key to unlock a bitcoin wallet that had most of the funds.