Colonial Pipeline Hackers Made a Rookie Bitcoin Mistake

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Even these hackers made mistakes.

Photographer: Getty Images / Hulton Archive

Noob day afternoon

You’d think holding America’s largest ransom pipeline would require the skills of a Danny Ocean, or at least a Michael Bolton.

And the hackers who partnered with Russia’s DarkSide last month to destroy the Colonial Pipeline managed to shut down the pipeline and collect ransom on portions of their crime. Where they went wrong is hiding-the-bitcoin-from-the-FBI. Kind of an important part! You made the classic noob mistake Tim culpan explains that they put their ill-gotten crypto in a “hot” wallet, which means they were connected to the internet, which means that an FBI hacker may have hacked it away from them. Dark side? More like DORKside, am I right? (I’m not right. I’m just kidding. The customers were the noobs, not DarkSide. Don’t cyberpiracy me for a joke. I have a family.)

But not all well, that ends well. For one, these hackers will likely be smarter next time. And many more billions of dollars are made in ransomware attacks every year, most of which don’t get into the hands of victims. The Justice Department needs a well-funded task force of hackers, agents, and lawyers dedicated to fighting cybercrime. The Bloomberg editorial team writes, a kind of Series-of-Tubes Untouchables. These criminals don’t just catch themselves! Well, not always.

He’s just a Manchin

More of

Half the country is mad at Senator Joe Manchin (D ??? – WV) for refusing to give the 50th vote the Democrats need to kill the Senate filibuster and pass laws. So things like infrastructure spending, backed by the popularly elected president, the House of Representatives, and most of the country, goes to the Senate to die for a man.

Except that this may not be the right way to look at it. Perhaps the real problem isn’t one senator, but the entire Senate. Or maybe it’s not the whole Senate but the Republican half Jonathan Bernstein writes that appears to be devoted to obstruction. Some people may be naive to believe that there are 10 GOP votes. But if they did exist, many popular things could be done.

Another popular thing that Manchin blocks is the For the People Act, a series of electoral reform measures. Some call it far too ambitious, and Robert George agrees. Dems should drop it and respond to Manchin’s desire to simply restore the suffrage law. That actually has some GOP support. At least it did until Mitch McConnell choked it out today.

Let’s not celebrate like 2007!

2007 brought us great music and great movies, so it wasn’t all bad. But it was also the year that Crocs made a big splash because of Mario Batali, which, um. It was also the year just before the financial system became critical, so every time you hear the phrase,[THING] is the biggest since 2007 ”, one gets a little nervous.

Act accordingly when you hear that private equity is having its biggest year since 2007 and is well on its way to perhaps double the deal record for the year, writes Tara Laughing Chapel. There is razor-thin interest behind this boom, so everything should be fine this time.

Crisis averted

The Covid-19 pandemic is not over yet, but private equity firms are eager to spend money while interest rates are low and exit options are plentiful

Source: Bloomberg

Tell-tale charts

Despite the tweet from Elon Musk who once suggested Tesla had diamond hands when it came to Bitcoin, the company likely passed some of the things with butter in the last quarter, write writes Liam Denning. Bitcoin sales dampened Tesla’s bottom line in the first quarter. Last quarter sales will probably need another boost.


Bitcoin is now below the average price that prevailed when Tesla purchased $ 1.5 billion of it

Source: Bloomberg

further reading

The electoral victory of a communist in Peru is bad news for its copper miners and suggests global post-pandemic discontent. – Clara Ferreira Marques

Brett Kavanaugh may have only hinted at what he thought of Roe v. Calf holds. – Noah Feldman

A strong youth attitude is a good sign of basic labor market health. – Conor Sen

The NBA and other leagues play with integrity when they bet too much. – Tyler Cowen

MoviePass had a clever business model of hacking its own customers. – Matt Levine

Anthony Fauci’s emails reveal nothing scandalous. – Faye Flam


China is its own worst enemy.

Everyone quits jobs in the hotel and restaurant sector.

A Trump family impersonator was arrested for fraud.


The FBI built a messaging app for criminals who actually used it. (h / t Scott Kominers)

Bugs might be aware.

Some people have clearer eyes than others.

A walk in nature is better for mood and focus than microdosing.

Remarks: Please send Mars watermelons and complaints to Mark Gongloff at

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This column does not necessarily represent the views of the editors or Bloomberg LP or their owners.

To contact the author of this story:
Mark Gongloff at

To contact the editor responsible for this story:
Brooke sample at

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