Hacking of sensitive data is one of the most frequent attacks facing both private and government organizations. Recently, a relatively new aspect has been added to this reality, namely the Bitcoin and cryptocurrency ransom demands. This is precisely the requirement set by hackers who recently targeted the networks of the immigration office in Argentina. Almost $ 4 million in Bitcoin (BTC) was thus claimed for the return of compromised data, for a result … very inglorious for hackers. More detail below.
The amount of the ransom double-sided with the authorities’ refusal of cooperation
On August 27 from 7 a.m. (local time), the Argentine Immigration Office suffered Newalker ransomware attack. The intrusion that affected operations on their network forced the federal government agency to temporarily shut down their systems. This measure aimed to prevent hackers from further compromising the network. The latter have also taken the trouble to leave a message on encrypted files to express their demands. The immigration office was thus invited to pay a ransom of $ 2 million in Bitcoin on their crypto wallet via a site on the Dark web.
Determined to stand up to the hackers, the authorities refused to pay the amount of the ransom demanded. A government source said: ” they won’t negotiate with hackers, nor are they that keen on getting that data back “. Faced with this refusal to execute their victims, the hackers preferred to wait until the expiry of the set deadline to take action. For all answers, they decided to increase the amount previously requested. It thus increased to 4 million dollars or approximately 355, 871 BTC without the slightest deadline being set for the payment of the ransom … and without more success in the end.
A rather recurrent phenomenon in the country
While cases of hacking of federal organizations are rare in the country, ransomware malware attacks are common in the rest of the industries. Last July, Telecom SA – the largest national telecommunications company – was the target of a similar attack. The ransom demanded was then a payment of $ 7.5 million in Monero (XMR). At the end of last year, San Luis – a data management firm – was also undergoing an attack which led to the encryption of 7,500 GB of its data. The hackers then claimed up to $ 370,000 to decrypt them.
The use of cryptocurrencies to obtain ransoms from victims seems to be becoming the new fad among hackers. In a time when bitcoin is emerging as a more reliable alternative in day-to-day trading, the industry would do without a hype.
In the crypto-bath since 2017, both far too late but far enough early from the point of view of my future grandchildren ????
Writer, Amateur trader, Ethereum and NEO-compatible