Bitcoin’s Biggest Risk Is Now Ransomware

Bitcoin’s Biggest Risk Is Now Ransomware

Sudan’s  former ruler, Omar al-Bashir, won many fights for three decades. He mastered the politics of UN. He overcame America and South Sudan. He triumphed over IMF and World Bank. He fought rebels, friends and enemies – and won. But at the end, he fell because of BREAD. Yes, bread – so simple and harmless- brought down one of the last surviving yoyo men of Africa.

As you think of that, I bring what will destroy Bitcoin despite any optimistic exuberance pushed by its adherents. Simply, the cryptocurrency is developing a reputation as the currency for criminals to receive illegal payments for ransomware. So, if you extrapolate, even if Bitcoin itself is not directly affected by hacking and ransomware, the fact that many criminals have chosen it will likely push many countries to go hard on it.

The latest is that “meat supplier JBS USA Holdings has said it paid out an $11 million ransom in Bitcoin to cybercriminals.” Just a few weeks ago, Colonial Pipeline paid out millions of dollars  via Bitcoin to criminals – and thank goodness, the FBI was able to recover some of that back. Yes, “seizure of more than half of the company’s payment cuts against crypto’s reputation as an untraceable financial medium for hackers.”

So, if the world leaders see Bitcoin as the choice for criminals, expect them to open a new playbook on this currency. And that playbook may not be palatable for hodlers.

Shine your eyes.

Meat supplier JBS USA Holdings has said it paid out an $11 million ransom in Bitcoin to cybercriminals. The company’s chief executive told The Wall Street Journal that the recent ransomware attack temporarily knocked out plants which handle about one-fifth of the meat supply for the U.S. Based in Brazil, JBS Holdings is the world’s largest meat supplier by sales. Ransomware attacks have spiked; last month, Colonial Pipeline paid a total of $4.4 million in Bitcoin to resume its pipeline — of which the Justice Department managed to retrieve roughly $2.3 million of the ransom paid to the Russian hackers.

  • The FBI recovered roughly half of the ransom paid by the Colonial Pipeline by tracking a “publicly visible bitcoin ledger,” reports The Wall Street Journal, then pouncing when hackers performed a transfer to a virtual address the bureau had access to.

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3 thoughts on “Bitcoin’s Biggest Risk Is Now Ransomware

  1. In a conversation here, cannot lay my hand on the link to it, I referenced Bernard Madoff- A malefactor, who ran the largest fraud in ponzi history. I wrote that Madoff action was not the damage, although he was caught, but many would try the same act with the believe that they would not be caught- and obviously many who do it in this era have not been caught.

    On Bitcoin use for criminal purpose,I wrote also, “I am very confident that once the first act went successful or not, many would spring forth”. (Emphasis Added). Let us go back to how BTC gain dominance in Nigeria, for example, most of the heavy-holders here are fraudster, who when it came saw it potential of holding large, bad, money.

    Take for example, BTC came out in 2012, you did wire fraud and made 50,000 USD, kept a good portion in BTC, as it surged your money rose. Remember, that you live in Nigeria, and by the time you convert to Naira, you could be hitting billions.

    So, on the rounds for fraud and crime, tractability, it has no future.

    Reply
    1. Further, it’s arguable that physical cash can also be used for fraud- Yes, that is true.However, the question is which one easy to recover. That answered, no more debate.

      Reply
  2. The Bitcoin crusaders and evangelists will now have additional work to do: ensuring that crypto universe doesn’t earn a reputation as den of criminals

    The same way governments and individuals charge and frown at social media empires for not catching every miscreant that uses those platforms to incite violence or spread misinformation; crypto promoters will soon be tasked with catching every cybercriminal that receives ransom via the medium.

    Once the masters of narratives start their virtue-signalling, mentioning Bitcoin publicly could earn you a racist tag or destroyer of humanity and wellbeing; never ‘annoy’ some people if you want to remain relevant…

    Reply

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