Hackers Just Stole $66000 in Bitcoin. Now What?

  • Hackers Just Stole $66000 in Bitcoin. Now What?

Hackers Just Stole $66000 in Bitcoin. Now What?

This has been compounded by anticipatory lifting of ban on withdrawal restriction on a Hong Kong-based Bitcoin exchange, and the ransomware demand.

The ransomware reportedly hit hundreds of thousands of computers in over 150 countries including Malaysia.

As the scope and cost of ransomware continue to grow, several states have passed or introduced legislation to increase the penalties for ransomware. After the fee is paid, the hackers supposedly free the affected computer. And that's only expected to get worse this year.

South Korea was mostly spared from the latest ransomware attack, partly because constant threats from the North have made the government and companies careful about always updating their software.

Choi is one of a number of researchers around the world who have suggested a possible link between the "ransomware" known as WannaCry and hackers linked to North Korea. Or they can use it to make online transactions and purchases. Many companies in Spain were affected including Telefonica.

Countries around the world are still dealing with an ongoing ransomware attack that hit institutions and businesses worldwide, including hospitals in the United Kingdom, the Russian interior ministry and universities in China.

But what happens when the victims don't understand how to pay? Symantec "found 64% of Americans are willing to pay a ransom, compared to 34 percent globally".

WannaCry, however, has not been almost as successful - or at least not yet. At an exchange rate of $1,700, that adds up to about $68,000 in total gains for the attackers. The ransom note indicates that the payment amount will be doubled after three days. You need a few basic computer smarts, but beyond that, because of how well established Bitcoin is today, there are loads of tools available that anyone can use, even from their phones - so victims of ransomware attacks don't need to be very tech-savvy.

Ransomware does not technically require bitcoin.

"As there's more regulation with bitcoin, and people realize it's not as anonymous as they thought", Coleman said.

They may have their work cut out: the global bitcoin market sees roughly 250,000 transactions a day. Most ransomware ... generate a unique ID and bitcoin wallet for each victim and thus know who to send the decryption keys to.

At the same time, however, the Bitcoin blockchain is also completely transparent.

So is Bitcoin transfer impossible to trace?

But if they changed from Bitcoin to some other regular currencies investigator might trace down the owner account. So far, F-Secure hasn't provided more details. Even without ransomware, it means that files can be stolen, edited or otherwise corrupted.

Although the vulnerability has been patched by Microsoft, out-of-date versions of Windows - particularly Windows XP that remains ubiquitous despite being unsupported for two years - allowed WannaCry to propagate itself on what Europol described as an "unprecedented scale". Upgraded computers are no longer vulnerable.

For now, the best you can do is make sure your computers are running the latest software updates - and don't click on any funny-looking emails.

After spending about $11 to purchase the domain, MalwareTech had essentially stopped the spread of the virus-though this did not help those already infected by WannaCry. "WannaCry' encrypts files with the following extensions, appending.WCRY to the end of the file name like.lay6, .sqlite3, .sqlitedb, .accdb, .java and.docx among others".

And last but not least, it is not recommended that you pay the ransom.

Q: How much money have the attackers collected? It is possible that more people might pay up as the deadline for losing their files nears or that there are more bitcoin wallets associated with WannaCry that are yet to be found.

Though, of course, this is easier said than done.