By now, probably everyone has heard about the Colonial Pipeline security incident that has been linked to threat actors known as DarkSide.
On April 12, this site published an email chat with DarkSide. If you missed that chat write-up, you can read it here. On May 8, after the mainstream media reported that the Colonial Pipeline incident had been attributed to DarkSide by those familiar with the matter, I reached out to the threat actors to ask for a comment or response. As I tweeted and reported, they responded, “Hello, no comments,” but then immediately sent another reply explaining, “At the time of negotiations and in the case of payment, we do not disclose information about the transaction.”
That was their only acknowledgement by that point that they were involved.
Today, they have issued a statement on their leak site:
About the latest news.
We are apolitical, we do not participate in geopolitics, do not need to tie us with a defined goverment and look for other our motives.
Our goal is to make money, and not creating problems for society.
From today we introduce moderation and check each company that our partners want to encrypt to avoid social consequences in the future.
That press statement is consistent with what they had stated in our email interview when I asked them if they ever had regretted any attack. They responded how they added funeral homes and crematoria to their exclusion list because they had regretted what a partner had done. Now they say they will start moderation to check companies that their partners want to encrypt.
Chalk this up as purely opinion, but I think it’s likely that they are quite serious about that. Since Colonial Pipeline is private industry and not a state/government entity, they probably did not consider it as infrastructure or political as much as just a typical big (lucrative) target by a partner.
Could DarkSide be state-related? Could they have lied about that? Sure. But then do we say the same thing about every threat actor group that may speak Russian? Is there any evidence that DarkSide has had any political or governmental targets?