United States: the cyber attack of an oil pipeline operator raises fears of paralysis of the country

An American pipeline operator has been the victim of a cyber attack. To prevent part of the country from being paralyzed, a ransom of more than $ 4 million was paid in digital currency … which the FBI recovered.

It’s a Hollywood script, a modern script. A quick reminder of the facts: on May 7, Colonial Pipeline , in the United States, fell victim to what is known as ransom / joke. 

Hackers, based in  Russia , according to US authorities, have exploited a loophole in the security system. They sent a computer virus, so all systems had to be shut down to prevent the virus from spreading.

It should be noted that the company transports nearly half of the fuels to the East Coast of the United States. Motorists rushed to gas stations, prices shot up, and Washington began to fear serious economic consequences . The company preferred to pay the $ 4.4 million ransom… In bitcoin, a digital currency. Everyone thought the sum was evaporated in the twists and turns of the  Darknet , everything is encrypted.

Six days of blocking

Until that surprise announcement from the FBI earlier this week: the federal agency got its hands on the money . How did they do it? As the famous saying goes: to find the criminals, follow the money … In this case, they followed the Bitcoin. The Justice Department located a subcontractor of Russian hackers, who called themselves “Darkside”. This subcontractor is based in California. A judge issued a warrant. Investigators recovered the key, code and password from the digital safe where the Bitcoins were located  . 

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