$6 Million in Crypto Lost to SamSam Ransomware
November 30, 2018 11:36 am
The United States Department of Justice (DoJ) announced the indictment of two Iranian people. This move comes as a result of a Bitcoin ransomware attack.
The convicted Iran citizens are Faramarz Shahi Savandi and Mohammad Mehdi Shah Mansouri. They are the people behind the infamous SamSam ransomware attack. Faramarz and Mohammad used ransomware to attack users in Canada, the United Kingdom, and the United States in 2015.
Ransomware is one of the most dangerous forms of hacking. The hacker first injects a malicious code into a user’s computer. This code will start encrypting all the data on the user’s hard drive. Once this process is complete, a warning message will be displayed asking the user to pay Bitcoins in exchange for gaining access to their data. The biggest concern with such an attack is that it affects all types of files such as images, videos, text, and documents present on the computer. Even if the user ends up paying the ransom, there is never a guarantee that they will get access to their data.
The hackers targeted places in the United States such as Atlanta, Newark and the port of San Diego, Colorado’s Transportation Department, a hospital and a medical laboratory.
The Iranian nationals were successful in extorting money from more than 200 victims, managing to rake in $6 million. Meanwhile, the victims reported financial losses of $30 million.
These incidents can also be traced to the fact that the United States President Donald Trump had re-imposed sanctions on Iran. Cyber attacks seem to be a preferred way of retaliating against the U.S.