DarkSide Ransomware group that targeted US Company Colonial Pipeline leading to a shortage of fuel supply across North America and Australia has shut down its operations for reasons.
London based Blockchain Analysis firm Elliptic analyzed the developments made by the cybercrime group on Tuesday and disclosed that the said hackers group earned around $90 million in Bitcoins and shut down its operations as it grabbed the attention of the media and the law enforcement’s across the world by victimizing critical infrastructure of western nations.
The elliptic report states that DarkSide gathered payments in BTC through 47 distinct e-wallets that are now empty. And that includes a $5 million payment made by the IT staff of Colonial Pipeline.
Research says that the gathered ransom was distributed wisely between two groups- one that developed the file-encrypting malware that could be indulged in double extortion and the second is the group that planted the malware into a victim’s computer network.
Another analysis carried out by AI-based Cybersecurity firm DarkTracer states that DarkSide Malware infection was spread to almost 99 organizations across the globe and nearly half of them paid a ransom to free up the data from encryption.
Note 1- Till a couple of years ago, payments made in Bitcoins and other Cryptocurrency variants remained untraceable. But now the digital world of payments is being ruled by software that is powerful enough to tap and analyze a blockchain for payments made in digital currency.
Note 2- British Home Secretary Priti Patel along with US FBI is urging ransomware victims not to pay the ransom as it doesn’t guarantee the return of a decryption key and encourages hackers in launching more such attacks.