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California University paid over $1M ransom in Bitcoin

Ransomware Attack

University of California, San Francisco suffered from a malware attack on the university’s computer servers. The hackers made certain encrypted information unaccessible and demanded a ransom. According to the university: “The data that was encrypted is important to some of the academic work we pursue as a university serving the public good.

The university made sure to state that the data attacked did not affect “patient care, its novel coronavirus work or the overall campus network.”

The $1M Ransom

The hackers demanded a ransom to be paid in Bitcoin. Because of the importance of the data for the university they decided to pay a portion of it, amounting to approximately $1.14 million.

We therefore made the difficult decision to pay some portion of the ransom, approximately $1.14 million, to the individuals behind the malware attack in exchange for a tool to unlock the encrypted data and the return of the data they obtained.

Can the hackers get away with it?

While it may seem that the hackers got their ransom and they’re in the clear given that it is probably in a wallet with no KYC, this is far from the truth. Bitcoin is a public ledger and all transactions are available to view by everyone. The crypto-community has policed scams for a long time now. Whenever these hackers try to move these funds, bots will detect the movements and exchanges will be made aware. This makes the hackers dream of cashing out, a nightmare. Of course this is given that university shares the public address they sent the coins to in due time.

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