Recently, the US government announced that they will soon be giving ransomware attacks the same level of priority as terrorism. While ransomware attacks aren’t new, it seems that the attack on the Colonial Pipeline that caused fuel shortages across the East Coast and Southern US has spurred the government to treat it more seriously.

That being said, there is some good news on that front. According to the US Department of Justice, they have managed to recover 63.7 bitcoin from the attack. Based on the current valuation of bitcoin, this is said to be worth $2.3 million.This isn’t the full amount as the full amount was 75 bitcoin, but it’s still quite a significant recovery and better than nothing.

To recover the funds, the DOJ said that they managed to obtain the private key to the wallet that was used by the hackers to store the cryptocurrency, and by also taking legal action against the exchange that has servers located in North Carolina.

According to Deputy Attorney General Lisa O. Monaco, “Following the money remains one of the most basic, yet powerful tools we have. Ransom payments are the fuel that propels the digital extortion engine, and today’s announcement demonstrates that the United States will use all available tools to make these attacks more costly and less profitable for criminal enterprises.”

She adds, “We will continue to target the entire ransomware ecosystem to disrupt and deter these attacks. Today’s announcements also demonstrate the value of early notification to law enforcement; we thank Colonial Pipeline for quickly notifying the FBI when they learned that they were targeted by DarkSide.”

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