The Biden administration says one of the suspected hackers arrested in Russia was to blame for the attack on the colonial pipeline
Biden administration ‘pleased’ with Russia’s arrest of several suspected hackers, one of whom is believed to be behind the ransomware attack that led to week-long fuel shortages throughout the year last.
A senior administration official, speaking to reporters on Friday, said Moscow informed Washington of the arrests and that one of those involved was responsible for the May 2021 attack that crippled the colonial pipeline.
“I want to be very clear: in our minds, it is not related to what is happening with Russia and Ukraine. I am not talking about the motivations of the government, but we are satisfied with these first actions”, said the anonymous official, according to Axios.
The United States accuses Russia of planning a “invasion” of Ukraine for several weeks now, with Moscow dismissing the allegations as “fake news”.
Earlier on Friday, the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) announced that it had carried out raids in three regions – Moscow, Saint Petersburg and Lipetsk – targeting suspected hackers, after receiving a notice from US authorities about their suspected criminal activity.
The men arrested are believed to be members of REvil, a hacking group specializing in ransomware attacks, and were charged with the June 2021 attack on meat processing conglomerate JBS and US-based IT management platform United Kaseya in July.
The Colonial Pipeline attack was originally attributed to another gang, called DarkSide. The company, which runs the pipeline delivering fuel to much of the southern and eastern United States, shut down operations for several days in May 2021 after the ransomware attack affected its billing service automated.
The week-long supply disruption caused fuel shortages in several states and Washington, DC. Colonial CEO Joseph Blount later admitted he paid the hackers $4.4 million in ransom, saying it was “the right thing to do for the country.”
The following month, the FBI also blamed DarkSide for the attack, boasting that they had seized around $2.3 million in bitcoins from their accounts.
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