As the saying goes, to everything misfortune is good. A university in the Netherlands has made a nice profit a few years after paying a ransom in bitcoins (BTC) as part of a computer hacking.
The wheel of Fortune has turned for this Dutch university
In 2019, Maastricht University in the Netherlands was the victim of a computer attack in which the attackers took control of servers and backup systems. The personal data captured and the academic work encrypted, all this put a strain on the 25,000 students and the faculty, who could no longer continue their activities.
During this offensive, the officials of the institution received a ransomware in which the attackers demanded 200,000 euros in bitcoins. They probably naively thought that they could not be traced in this way. So, at first, the university gave in to blackmail and sent them 40,000 euros in BTC.
Following a careful investigation, the Dutch police forces managed to get hold of an account based in Ukraine, on which the loot was based. After a few months, they then proceeded to return the funds to the owner. In the meantime, the bitcoin stored in said account has seen its value skyrocket, ranging from 40,000 to 500,000 euros. This is more than twelve times the amount originally paid by the university.
Seized by the authorities, the account in question contained many other cryptocurrencies. At the moment, the police have not yet shed light on the identity of the sponsors of this crime. However, she is continuing her investigation to find out more.
Room for speculation
It is difficult not to imagine different scenarios in the face of the abracadabrant dimension of this case. If the ransom had been paid in full, the university would have pocketed about 1.7 million euros, at the peak of bitcoin this year.
This would have made it possible to pay the tuition fees of a large number of students in precarious situations. Nevertheless, according to Michiel Borgers, director of information and communication technology at Maastricht University, the idea is there. He said that learners who encounter difficulties in meeting their deadlines will be able to benefit from funding thanks to the profits made.
Like everywhere else, ransomware is commonplace in the cryptocurrency industry. That said, they have negative repercussions that damage the reputation of digital assets. The fact that the University of has been able to recover its nest egg is a matter of luck. However, when it comes to cybersecurity, there is no place for chance and prevention remains the best ally.
Source : De volkskrant
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