US pipeline hacking ransom payment recovered

The US Justice Department says it has recovered most of the cryptocurrency ransom paid to hackers by one of the country's largest pipeline networks.

A Russia-based hacker group known as DarkSide was responsible for a cyberattack last month on the Colonial Pipeline. The attack caused a shutdown of operations and fuel was unable to flow through pipelines spanning southern and eastern regions of the United States.

The company later disclosed that it had paid the ransom demanded by the hackers in order to restore operations.

The Justice Department and the FBI held a joint news conference on Monday where officials said the ransom was paid in bitcoin.

They added that investigators seized 63.7 bitcoins, now valued at about 2.3 million dollars, after identifying the special cryptocurrency address used in the transfer of funds.

The recovered sum reportedly accounts for more than 80 percent of the bitcoin paid.

The authorities urged US businesses to brace for similar ransomware attacks, noting that more than 90 victims across crucial infrastructure sectors have already been identified. Operations at a global meatpacking company were also disrupted last month.

Ensuring security of key infrastructure has become a major concern in the US.