Bitcoin News

Hackers of Atlanta government computers seek ransom in the form of Bitcoin

It is the turn of cryptocurrency as a form of ransom being sought by hackers. Though it could surprise some people due to high volatility in the digital currency sector, the hackers’ demand strengthened the argument that there was lack of identity in trading the instrument. The move would also provide enough tools for those who are opposing the virtual currency.  The hacking incident in America comes on the heels of a Cryptocurrency exchange being hacked in Japan in January end that saw a loss of over half a billion American dollar.

US City

Hackers have managed to hack key computer systems in the American City, Atlanta, Georgia, cointelegraph reported. Fortune reported that they were demanding bitcoin worth $51,000 so that they could re-enable the affected computers. Atlanta Mayor, Keisha Lance Bottoms, told the media that officials could not estimate the extent of the attack. She also feigned ignorance whether any bank accounts or personal data was stolen in the hacking and said that every one of them was subject to the attack.

On March 22, Atlanta City discovered the attack first at 5 a.m. Some customers have found that there were some outages that affected their systems. These customers were trying to pay bills and access court-related information. A press note from the City of Atlanta indicated that its ATL_AIM team was working diligently to resolve this issue.

The hacking has forced the government officials to seek the help of the Department of Homeland Security, FBI and even Microsoft Corporation to find out the extent of the breach. They were also concerned as to how to resolve the outages. On Friday, officials sought the cooperation from its citizens to check their accounts and personal information and see whether anything was compromised in the hack. At the current rate of approximately $8,500 per bitcoin, the ransom demand is for six bitcoins.

The latest incident was not the first one in the recent past. There were previous incidences too that held back municipal computer systems as hostages in exchange of a digital currency. For instance, a hacker hacked the Regional Transit System in November 2017. The hacker sought a ransom of about one bitcoin. At that point in time, it was worth approximately $8,000.

Bitcoin Remains In Limelight

It is not clear why the hackers are going after the Bitcoin. However, there is no doubt that the virtual currency enjoys the biggest market capitalization. The price and the percentage of growth in 2017 were also astonishing making everyone to hold the digital currency just for prestige if not for value of it. This was evident when hackers seek a small fraction of bitcoins.

However, there was also one big ransom in Germany. A parcel bomber wanted Euro 10 million ransom to be paid in Bitcoin in December last year. The package had a QR code for depositing the virtual currency apart from explosive materials received from nails and fireworks though it failed to detonate. Before the latest incident, most of the big hackers appear to have happened in cryptocurrency exchanges.

About the author

Eleni Steinman

Eleni worked as a business consultant in Yale. She believes that new technologies have tremendous impact on everyone’s life and poses big opportunities for businesses. She got into cryptocurrencies soon after Ethereum showcased various applications of blockchain.

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