Shocking enough was the realization that the east coasts oil supply could be cut in half by a clandestine group of Russian hackers, but knowing that they would also get away with it? That was too much.
So, after the Colonial Pipeline was forced to pay millions of dollars in ransom to these ne’er-do-wells, there were concerns that future, would-be attackers would be emboldened.
On Monday, that idea was squashed in a big way.
The US has recovered most of the $4.4m (£3.1m) ransom paid to a cyber-criminal gang responsible for taking the Colonial Pipeline offline last month.
DarkSide – which US authorities said operates from eastern Europe and possibly Russia – infiltrated the pipeline last month.
The attack disrupted supplies for several days causing fuel shortages.
According to the firm, the pipeline carries 45% of the East Coast’s supply of diesel, petrol and jet fuel.
On Monday, Deputy Attorney-General Lisa Monaco said investigators had “found and recaptured” 63.7 Bitcoin worth $2.3m – “the majority” of the ransom paid. Since the ransom was paid the value of Bitcoin has fallen sharply.
The news may very well help to deter future ransomware attacks, given that this was one of the first such ransoms recovered.