DarkSide, a hacker group that has been in the news several times in recent weeks because of ransomware attacks, says it is throwing in the towel. The group would no longer have access to its infrastructure.
The Wall Street Journal reports this based on information from security research firms FireEye and Intel 471. The group is said to have told other hackers that it had lost access to its infrastructure. There have been interventions from law enforcement and pressure from the United States government, according to the rumours.
Return under a different name is likely
It is far from certain whether DarkSide will actually stop its activities. It is not uncommon for hacker groups like this to lay low for a while and then return to their activities under a different name. The research companies have not been able to confirm whether the American government actually had any influence on DarkSide’s decision.
It is obvious that the situation became too hot for DarkSide. Last week, an important oil pipeline in the United States was shut down for several days after it was hit by a ransomware attack. The company behind the pipeline, Colonial Pipeline, paid the ransomware group five million dollars to get back into action as soon as possible. Despite the fact that DarkSide says it doesn’t have any political motives, the attack caused great unrest in the United States.
Not only the Colonial Pipeline was hit by the attack. Toshiba Tec, a subsidiary of Toshiba that focuses on POS systems and multifunction printers, was also hit by ransomware last week. According to Toshiba, DarkSide is also behind this attack. After these two attacks, DarkSide has been in the news a lot, which is why the security services are now putting extra emphasis on the hacker group.
Ties with Russia
Who is behind the hacker group is not certain. Many people point to Russia, including US President Joe Biden, who says that DarkSide has contacts with Moscow. Biden wants to talk to Russian President Vladimir Putin about allowing such hacker groups to be based within his borders.