Hackers Seize Argentinian Government’s Data and Demand Ransom in Bitcoin

Bitcoin Ransomware

A data center of the government in Argentina was recently attacked by blackhat hackers who demanded a ransom in Bitcoin(BTC)trade. Sensitive data regarding local government in files was compromised during the attack.

Argentina’s Minister of Science and Technology Alicia Bañuelos, representative of the local government of San Luis, gave details of the cyber attack and stated that it happened on November 25th.

Agencia de Noticia de San Luis, a news outlet, discussed the details of the attack with Bañuelos in an interview on December 2nd. She shared that the data center’s cyber workers were able to recover nearly 90% of the encrypted data that had been initially seized. The recovered data was worth 10 years and made up almost 7,700 GB (!) of the complete attacked set of information.

The cybercriminals who were behind the attack demanded a ransom for the data seized, in the form of the largest cryptocurrency Bitcoin. Although the amount they asked for in Bitcoin has not been made public, private investigators and news outlets reporting the story have calculated that the amount the hackers asked in exchange for the data is between 0.5 BTC to 50 BTC, when converted into the current price of Bitcoin would make up a sum that ranges from $3,600 to $360,000.

Bañuelos also shared that the decryption of the government files would take 15 days at minimum, especially considering the large size of the files. The hackers have demanded the crypto ransom in exchange for the decryption of the files.

Big Rise in Crypto Ransom Crimes

The rise of cybercrimes has brought in a new wave of crypto criminals who demand ransom money in cryptocurrency instead of fiat currency. As AllStocks Crypto News reported earlier this year, similar hacks that demanded a ransom in crypto occurred in many countries all over the globe such as in Finland, the U.S., Spain and Nigeria to name a few .

Hackers have started targeting centralized institutions and government holding sensitive data, which has become new popular targets for these cybercrimes. For example, “Shadow Kill Hackers,” a group of digital criminals attacked a website of a city municipality in South Africa two months ago and threatened the government with the release of information on public platforms of the internet. They demanded a ransom of 4 BTC, which would be equivalent of roughly $30,000.

Apart from governments and local administration sectors, large private companies have also become a target of these digital crimes. Prosegur, a multinational security company based in Spain had become a target which was attacked by Ryuk ransomware just weeks ago.

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