Hackers Demand $1 Million in XRP After Bank Data Theft
Hackers who stole personal information on 90,000 Canadian bank users have demanded $1 million in Ripple's XRP to not release the data trove.
Hackers who stole information on thousands of Canadian bank users have demanded $1 million-worth of the cryptocurrency XRP to not release the data trove.
According to a CBC News report Tuesday, the two banks hit by the breach, Bank of Montreal and CIBC's online bank Simplii Financial, have said that the personal information of a total of 90,000 account holders had been taken – including identifying data such as names, account numbers, passwords.
The thieves even claimed to have obtained security questions and answers, social insurance numbers and account balances, the report says.
An email sent by the hackers – reportedly from Russia – demanded a ransom of $1 million in XRP, a cryptocurrency developed by blockchain payments startup Ripple, saying they would release the data if it wasn't paid before the close of May 28. It is not clear if the $1 million demand was expected to be paid in a U.S. or Canadian dollar equivalent.
As proof that the breaches did indeed obtain the claimed customer data, the hackers provided information on one customer from each of the two banks.
The email further explained that the hackers had used an algorithm to create account numbers, which had then been used to pose as genuine account holders and get the related security questions reset by the banks. Security measures at the institutions also came under fire, with the message stating:
CBC News said it had contacted both banks over whether any ransom had been paid. "Our practice is not to make payments to fraudsters," Bank of Montreal reportedly said, while Simplii did not directly answer the question.
Hacker image via Shutterstock
The leader in news and information on cryptocurrency, digital assets and the future of money, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. CoinDesk is an independent operating subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which invests in cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups. As part of their compensation, certain CoinDesk employees, including editorial employees, may receive exposure to DCG equity in the form of stock appreciation rights, which vest over a multi-year period. CoinDesk journalists are not allowed to purchase stock outright in DCG.
Learn more about Consensus 2024, CoinDesk’s longest-running and most influential event that brings together all sides of crypto, blockchain and Web3. Head to consensus.coindesk.com to register and buy your pass now.