US Officials Seize $2.3 Million Paid in Bitcoin to a Hacker Group Targeting Colonial Pipeline

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While cryptocurrencies, mainly Bitcoin, have million of supporters in the USA, one of their drawbacks is that they’re sometimes used for shady stuff. These could be anything from Bitcoin casinos without a license to financing terrorist cells.

For a while, BTC wasn’t in the attention for such a thing. However, on Monday, the US government announced that it has seized around $2.3 million paid in Bitcoin group to a hacker group that was responsible for the crippling cyberattack on Colonial Pipeline. The FBI was able to access one of the passwords of a member of the group called DarkSide.

This was only a part of the ransom the company’s CEO paid a day after the attack. The full amount paid was $5, but the FBI and the government have called the seizing of assets a welcome development.

A Crippling Ransomware Attack

Russian hacker group DarkSide attacked Colonial Pipeline on May 7. The company was made aware of the attack just before it happened, after an engineer discovered a ransom note on the company’s IT framework.

The group demanded ransom money for files it took from the company’s internal drive. They demanded $5 million, which CEO Joseph Blount Jr. paid a day after the attack. A total of $2.3 in ransom money in Bitcoin was recovered by the FBI, but the remaining part was forever lost. According to reports, DarkSide earned close to $90 million in ransom money during its active years before it dissolved.

Right after these developments, Bitcoin experienced a drastic price slide. A number of issues are currently weighing down on cryptocurrencies, including fears of possible regulatory clampdown. Recent tweets by Tesla CEO Elon Musk have not helped, and China’s latest crackdown on crypto mining and training are extending Bitcoin’s slide.

It’s crazy to think that just a few months ago Bitcoin was racing toward $70,000, with the value right now dropping to over half of that. Of course, the largest cryptocurrency by market value is dragging all altcoins with it, instilling fear in the crypto trading community.

Will the Trend Continue?

Experts believe that the slide is far from over. Bitcoin was in a bull market for quite some time, and while it’s still up 12% from the beginning of the year, it’s currently clearly locked in a downward trend. Panic selling remains a big problem, as any negative development forces first-time buyers to unload their Bitcoins or other cryptos.

While the trend is currently negative, Bitcoin is tripled in price compared to last year. The bubble theory is almost but gone. The world’s top cryptocurrency has been going strong for a while, and crypto adoption and trading is at an all-time high. Many traders and experts are adamant that this is just a storm that’s going to pass. However, the Colonial Pipeline attack and the seize of assets in Bitcoin doesn’t help the market at all.

It remains to be seen if there are any positive developments that could put the market in an upward trend.

June 9, 2021: • No Comments

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