Bitcoin price fell to $31,114.44 in the early hours of Tuesday (08/06/2021) after Federal Authorities in the US recovered $2.3 million (63.7 BTC) of the 4.4 million that Colonial Pipeline had paid to hackers as ransom after a ransomware attack.
Although the prices have recovered to trade at above $33,000, the market is still very volatile and there are speculations that the price could drop further following the ongoing cryptocurrency crackdown in various countries including China and the USA.
The ransomware attack paralyzed the operations of the East Coast oil pipeline for almost a week in early May and the Biden administration is taking the issue of ransomware as an issue of national security and President Biden is set to discuss it at the G7 leaders meeting.
According to a warrant filed in the Northern District of California District Court, the recovered BTC were traced to a wallet address that showed only one incoming transaction.
During a press conference, Lisa Monaco, the US Deputy Attorney General pointed out that,
“The sophisticated use of technology to hold businesses and even whole cities hostage for profit is decidedly a 21st century challenge, but the old adage of follow the money still applies.”
She also praised the recently formed Ransomware and Digital Extortion Task Force, which was behind the recovery.
Though yet to be confirmed, the recent attack on Colonial Pipeline is believed to have been undertaken by a collective Russian hacking group known as DarkSide.
Last week, another US-based company, this time a meatpacking company known as JBS, was also attacked by another Russian hacking group called REvil.
DoJ to treat ransomware attacks like Terrosist attacks
Department of Justice said it will accord ransomware attacks the same seriousness it gives to terrorist attacks
Ransomware has become a serious threat in the 21st century and especially now that hackers can demand payments in cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin (BTC) since they know it is difficult to unearth the real identities of the receiving party because the identities of the parties involved in cryptocurrency transactions are hidden behind the public keys.
Besides the fact that the hackers end up scooping millions of dollars for ransom, individual consumers also suffer since they have to deal with the shortage once a company’s operations are halted following a ransomware attack.