Hackers creating online malware attacks typically demand bitcoin ransom, as this prevents authorities from tracking where the payments went. Bitcoin transactions are anonymous and irreversible, making these the usual mode of ransom required by scammers.
Just recently, a company based in Brisbane suffered internal data theft and was demanded to pay bitcoin ransom to its hackers. Initially, the company refused to make the payments but the hackers escalated their threats.
Bitcoin Ransom Payment
Eventually, the Australian firm gave in to the demands and gave the hackers the amount they wanted in bitcoin. The amount was reportedly worth around $14,000 in bitcoin, with the funds transferred earlier this year. However, the harassment didn’t stop there as the scammers then targeted a senior company official and made threats to his family.
Authorities are still working on tracking down the suspects but the use of bitcoin ransom has made it impossible to trace the money. According to Acting assistant commissioner Brian Kay of the Queensland Police Service, the police are now working with other law enforcement agencies to identify the hackers behind those attacks.
“This is a very serious attack on an organization and quite traumatic for the business, the victim and his family,” Kay said. He added that businesses should never give in to ransom demands, stating that local companies should heighten their existing cyberattack countermeasures and report any incidents to the police. However, he also admitted that firms are hesitant about coming forward about hacks because of the potential harm that could be done once they are made public.
Attacks like these make it all the more difficult for the general public to trust the bitcoin ecosystem, as the cryptocurrency is also struggling to shake off its association with the underground market Silk Road and money laundering activities of criminals.