The criminal hacking group Darkside, which was blamed for the Colonial Pipeline ransomware attack and caused the massive fuel shortage across multiple states in the southeastern U.S, claims to be shutting down its operations.
Krebs on Security and other cybersecurity firms report that the hacker group announced in a cybersecurity forum that they have lost access to the infrastructures necessary for carrying out operations and someone drained its cryptocurrency account used to pay affiliates.
“Servers were seized (country not named), money of advertisers and founders was transferred to an unknown account,” reads a message from DarkSide reposted to the Russian OSINT Telegram channel.
The group adds that it will be releasing decryption tools for some of its victims that haven’t paid a ransom yet.
US President Biden announced earlier that the Justice Department launched a new task force whose primary goal was to prosecute ransomware hackers “to the full extent of the law.”
It is yet unknown whether the U.S. government or other groups played any role in the events leading to the group’s decision to stop operations.
Cybersecurity experts commented that cybercriminal groups often disband and return under different names thus the DarkSide’s closure is yet to be known if legitimate or just a pretense.