Cybercriminal Group Blamed for Colonial Pipeline Hack Says It Is Disbanding

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The Epoch Times

The cybercriminal outfit that U.S. authorities have said infiltrated the network of a major pipeline operator, leading to gas shortages and rising prices, is claiming that it is di

DarkSide, which operates ransomware as a service, announced Thursday they were stopping operations.

In an announcement in Russian, the group said they lost access to part of its infrastructure, along with some of their financial assets, after an apparent raid by law enforcement authorities.

Affiliates that use DarkSide’s ransomware were told they will be given tools so victims can regain access to data that attackers held hostage in return for payment.

“In view of the above and due to the pressure from the US, the affiliate program is closed. Stay safe and good luck. The landing page, servers, and other resources will be taken down within 48 hours,” the announcement read, according to a translation by Intel 471, a group of intelligence operators.

The attack on Colonial Pipeline earlier this month prompted the Georgia-based company to shut down certain parts of its network. That led to a major U.S. pipeline going offline, which in turn led directly and indirectly to gas shortages and rising prices at the pump.

Reports suggested Colonial paid millions of dollars to get a tool to regain access to system parts the hackers invaded, but the company has declined to confirm that publicly, as has the U.S. government.

The FBI this week said the DarkSide ring was responsible for the compromise of Colonial networks. DarkSide appeared to acknowledge that much in an earlier statement, saying they are apolitical with the goal of making money and not creating problems for society.

“From today we introduce moderation and check each company that our partners want to encrypt to avoid social consequences in the future,” it said.


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