Hackers Get a Million Dollars from a University

Colin Baseman

California is one of the richest states across the country and, according to the recent statistics, some of the wealthiest people reside there. Successful business owners decide to become sponsors and donate millions of dollars to support those who are in need and require financial aid.

However, the worst thing is that people who have plenty of money attract those who wish to benefit from them and share all the rich possess. If an individual is ready to trust lies and rely on those he does not know very well, then what happens next becomes his fault only. As we know, not only private people become attackers’ victims – there are a lot of institutions and organizations that suffer from hackers as well.

Journalists have recently published news reporting that a university located in San Francisco didn’t avoid paying a million-dollar ransom, even though the representatives held a number of negotiations with a hacker team. Unfortunately, their attempts were unsuccessful.

The school’s authorities paid over one million USD as a random. The payment was carried out in cryptocurrencies. Now police officers announce that the group attacked the university four weeks ago.  Several IT specialists working for the institution detected the issue related to security and stated that the cybercriminals managed to ruin a certain number of servers that belong to the School of Medicine.

Even though the areas remained isolated from the internal system, the criminals made the equipment inaccessible. More than that, the group admits that what they did was a successful plan that worked out. Experts across the crypto community are discussing the incident that occurred in California. No doubt, the news quickly spread further beyond the state’s borders and has reached other schools in many areas.

Trouble Caused by Hackers

Specialists keep the public informed via the main mass media sources. There they state that the servers stored some important encrypted information and most of it was related to the school’s academic projects. It was rather challenging for the university to pay some part of the required ransom to the attackers utilizing malware – the group insisted they should exchange an instrument to unblock the data in exchange for cryptocurrency.

After a short time, the school’s administration decided to try and negotiate with the attackers. According to the BBC News report the negotiation between the hackers and the university’s officials didn’t seem to end successfully.

First, the UCSF administration asked to decrease the payment to seven hundred and eighty thousand USD. However, the group didn’t accept the offer and said that if they agree on the amount, it would mean their work had been done ‘in vain’. Next, the hackers mentioned that they were ready to accept one million five hundred thousand USD and they would quit. A few hours later, the school’s authorities offered a bit more than one million USD and the group accepted the reduced sum.

All in all, the university transferred over one hundred and sixteen BTC the following day and the criminals received the ransom on their accounts. Only after that did they send the decryption tools.

Crypto market professionals warn the public that the risks of this kind are increasing. Experts explain why ransomware groups attack businesses and how they do this. Unfortunately, people are powerless and have no way out but do as they are told by their attackers.