Cyber attacks that encrypt data and offer to decrypt them for a ransom paid in bitcoin is that it is no longer news. Over the last couple of years there have been several mass attacks of this type. The most recent ones that have received the most widespread, and attacked computers worldwide Petya, WannaCry
and Bad Rabbit. However, fraudsters are increasingly faced with the problem – no one wants to pay the ransom.
The presence of neatsiejamai digital currency that can be used for extortion and enables the hackers to disappear with the money before they can catch a real gold mine for cybercriminals. In addition, this story is a great scenario for pop culture.
Recently popular American TV series «grey’s Anatomy» also supported the hype around bitcoin. Last month in one of the episodes of the season hospital, in which the main events of the series, was attacked by hackers, which caused the emergence of blue screen of death on all computers in the clinic.
The most unrealistic aspect of the episode was not the faulty equipment (which broke ridiculously ridiculous) — it was a ransom note. In exchange for the restart of the systems of the hospital «Grey Sloan Memorial» hacker demanded 4 932 BTC worth $ 20 million at the then exchange rate. In real life a ransom demand is much lower, and companies don’t pay. One American hospital – «Hollywood Presbyterian», agreed to a buyout this year, but only in the amount of 17 000 USD.
This week, Mecklenberg district in North Carolina has been attacked – the hackers demanded $ 23,000 for the decryption of files. The authorities refused to pay. Even the best currently known attack WannaCry, which affected 230,000 computers, and collected «only» $ 140,000 in bitcoin.
Fear in the midst of the celebration
The boldest attempt of blackmail for bitcoins occurred at the Christmas market in Potsdam. December 1 in the pharmacy next to the fair was sent a parcel bomb to which was attached a note with a ransom demand and a QR code of the address where should be sent bitcoins. The note also stated that in case of refusal to pay the ransom, they will be sent more bombs.
Anyway, the bomb did not explode. It is assumed that the blackmailer wanted more to scare the recipient than to actually bomb, because the explosion would have destroyed and the address to which you want to send funds.
Such criminals seem to be seriously detached from reality. In real life no one will ever pay 10 million euros – either in bitcoin or in any other currency. Such stories happen only in TV shows. It is possible that there is where he drew inspiration for the German bomber. In the aforementioned episode of «grey’s Anatomy», which was released two weeks before the attack, the hospital paid hacker a ransom to decrypt the data. All $ 20 million.