reported that “the U.S. Department of Justice on Monday announced that it was able to recover 63.7 of the 75 bitcoins paid to the DarkSide ransomware-as-a-service operation by Colonial Pipeline.”  The June 11, 2021 report entitled “How Did FBI Recover Colonial Pipeline’s DarkSide Bitcoins?” included these comments from Deputy U.S. Attorney General Lisa Monaco:

By reviewing the bitcoin public ledger, law enforcement was able to track multiple transfers of bitcoin and identify that approximately 63.7 bitcoins, representing the proceeds of the victim’s ransom payment, had been transferred to a specific address, for which the FBI has the ‘private key,’…

In an affidavit was “filed in support of a search warrant filed with the Northern District of California U.S. District Court, an FBI special agent – name redacted – notes”:

…that the day after Colonial Pipeline’s payment, the cryptocurrency was moved through at least six other bitcoin wallets. The bureau followed the flow of funds until they ended up in a wallet for which the private key “is in the possession of the FBI of the Northern District of California,” according to the special agent.

Maybe crypto is not that secure?

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