The FBI’s breach of a bitcoin wallet held by the cybercriminals who attacked Colonial Pipeline is about sloppy storage. On Monday, the Justice Department reported retrieving $2.3 million in bitcoin paid by Colonial Pipeline to ransomware hackers in April. Investigators traced bitcoin transaction records to a digital wallet that could be accessed with a private key or password. However, it is still under wraps how the FBI retrieved the key. Darkside, the cybercriminal gang that targeted Colonial used a payment service to collect funds. Centralized platforms such as these made it easier for the FBI to track. “Following money has become a lot more convenient with cryptocurrency coming into the picture. The transparency & traceability of cryptocurrency helps in arresting illicit activity within this ecosystem compared to the traditional finance & flat currencies & payments.” Explained Jesse Spiro, Global head of policy for Chainalysis, a company that provides blockchain forensic & investigative services to private sector companies, including crypto exchanges. Whenever a ransomware-related payment is made, Chainalysis produces unprecedented intelligence & information of the supply chain involved. The functioning of bitcoin is perfect whereas the system of storing private keys is faulty. The only solution to store the coins out of reach of the state is holding the private keys directly.