Hackers Demand Cryptocurrency Ransom On Bank User Data Theft

The data theft of more than 90,000 users of two Canadian banks was revealed yesterday when they started emailing users with warnings that they could be affected by a user data theft. But the story gets a more interesting twist, because the hackers asked for a ransom in a cryptocurrency called ripple, presumably to avoid detection by the local authorities, according to a report from CBC News.
The affected banks are Bank of Montreal and online bank Simplii Financial. Bank of Montreal is the fourth largest bank in all Canada and one of the ten largest banks in all of North America. Simplii is a subsidiary of the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce, also a top five bank in Canada.
The hack event occurred supposedly with the cooperation of the bank systems. The hackers just devised a program to calculate the bank account numbers of people, and the bank’s security system was so bad that they allowed them to gain access to all user data just by using this parameter to reset the passwords. The hackers responsible for this fact were the ones that announced their modus operandi to the banks in an email.
In a rather ironic turn of events, the hackers demanded a ransom of a million dollars to be paid in a cryptocurrency known as Ripple, and delivered their wallet number in the same email. Ripple is a cryptocurrency better known by its adoption by the banking community to accelerate payments processing and remittance reconciliation for a number of banks worldwide. Even Western Union has reportedly pilot tested Ripple for its adoption on remittances.
The hackers offered to destroy the info if the bank paid the ransom before a deadline that passed yesterday at 12 AM. Then, they would sell the users info on “fraud” forums, darknet sites that buy this kind of info in bulk. The banks have stated that they don’t deal with hackers and offered to reimburse users all money and credit used from their accounts derived from this data theft.

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