Colonial Pipeline Co. paid close to $5 million in untraceable cryptocurrency to Eastern European hackers after the recent attack that crippled its system, Bloomberg reported.
- The Federal Bureau of Investigation tied the hackers to a group called DarkSide which is involved in digital extortion activities. It is believed to operate in Russia or Eastern Europe.
- Upon receipt of the payments, the hackers forward a tool for Colonial to restore its network.
- The decrypting tool was reportedly so slow that Colonial chose to use its own backups to help get the system back to its original state.
- U.S. government officials were said to have been aware of the payment. A representative for the National Security Council, as well as Colonial, declined to comment on the matter.
- The payment was made amid pressure as supply chains were disrupted, with Colonial operating the biggest pipeline in the United States.
- Shortages were reported along the East Coast after Colonial shut down its operations due to the attack.