Hackers claim to have hit several leading insurance firms that are dealing with cases from the September 11th attacks. In a post on Pastebin, the hackers claim to have more than 18,000 files relating to the terror attack and that the group will dump the files online for the public to see if it doesn’t receive ransom in Bitcoin. This isn’t the first time Bitcoin has been used as part of ransom request, but it has always led to the capture of the perpetrator – will this be any different?
— thedarkoverlord (@tdo_h4ck3rs) December 31, 2018
Not Great News for Bitcoin
Just as Bitcoin was starting to shake off its undesirable past from the public mind, another group of hackers has dragged its name through the mud. The Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) has said that illegal transactions using Bitcoin has fallen by 80% in the past few years, but this ransom isn’t helping. For an unknown amount of time after this announcement, Bitcoin will be known as the currency of hackers and criminals – not great for the mass adoption needed in 2019.
The High IQ Ransom
Over on Reddit, users quickly came up with a more creative way to ransom the information – using stake-based voting. One user suggested that the hackers create two Bitcoin addresses so that people can vote whether the data is released or destroyed forever. The address with the most Bitcoin in it by the deadline is the winner and that outcome is taken. While the hackers would receive twice the amount of crypto, they could be kind and return all crypto from the losing side of the vote.
Bitcoin Ransom Gone Wrong
In South Africa, a group of kidnappers decided to kidnap a prominent businessman and ransom his safe return for Bitcoin. The family quickly paid up the fee and the kidnappers were on their way with plenty of BTC in their pockets. However, these kidnappers clearly didn’t understand Bitcoin, as when they cashed it out at an exchange the police were able to trace it back to the crime and they were promptly arrested.
Many people around the globe believe in a September 11th conspiracy theory, but for everyone who lost loved ones it’s definitely time to stop dredging up the past. This hacking group has chosen to kick off 2019 in a rather dark and unkind way, hopefully the FBI manages to trace any Bitcoin ransom back to the hackers and catch those responsible for the attack.