Colonial Pipeline Paid DarkSide Hackers Nearly $5 Million in Ransom: Report
THE TRUTH EMERGES
After reports that it had not paid a ransom to the hacking group that reportedly brought down the Colonial Pipeline for almost a week in a ransomware attack, two sources familiar with the matter told Bloomberg that the company in fact paid nearly $5 million to help get the country’s largest fuel pipeline up and running again. According to the news outlet, Colonial Pipeline paid the massive extortion fee in “untraceable cryptocurrency” within hours of its systems being compromised by DarkSide, which is thought to be based in Eastern Europe. Once the hackers received the payment, they provided Colonial with a decrypting tool that allowed the company to restore its paralyzed computer network, Bloomberg reported. The FBI says victims of ransomware attacks should think twice about knuckling under to ransom demands, since there is no assurance they will actually decrypt the files even after getting their money. Ransomware victims paid about $350 million to hackers last year, forking over an average of $312,493, according to a March 2021 report from Palo Alto Networks.