Two Hong Kong based financial institutions recently became the victim of a Bitcoin ransom crime, reports The Standard.
According to the available information, both Bank of China and Bank of East Asia were attacked with a Distributed-Denial-of-Service hack that later caused some irregularities in their websites’ functionalities. The hackers, which are believed to be operating from foreign locations, threatened these institutions to extend the attack if they don’t pay a hefty ransom, in Bitcoin.
The matter however was reported to the local police, and it is now being investigated by Hong Kong’s Cyber Security and Technology Crime Bureau. Initial reports have suggested that that the hacks were launched from several different locations around the globe.
Comments received from the affected institutions however claimed no serious violations on their websites. The Bank of China agreed to have been attacked, but denied reports that claimed that its customer services were affected. On the other hand, Bank of East Asia reported an abnormal increase in traffic on their website. The institution however also denied that its customers’ accounts were breached during the attack.
Bitcoin in other Ransom Cases
This might be not the first time when the word ‘Bitcoin’ and ‘ransom’ is getting used in a single sentence. We have earlier seen many cases in which the digital currency was found facilitating the online criminals. Very recently, two American Police Departments were attacked by some ransom hackers, and ended up paying the ransoms in Bitcoin for restoring their machines. Before that, pop singer Taylor Swift also became the victim of a DDoS attack in which the hacker threatened to post her nude pictures on internet if not ransomed in — you guessed it right — Bitcoin.
Despite Bitcoin’s continuous involvement in such cases, it is still presumed to be safe from the government’s purview; for it is pseudo-anonymous and could be traced after all (read Silk Road).