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Cyber-Terrorists Holding Detroit Database Hostage, Demanding Ransom of 2,000 Bitcoins

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COMMENT: High­light­ing the per­ils of wiki­cul­ture and under­scor­ing the util­i­ty of Bit­coin for var­i­ous types of crim­i­nal activ­i­ty, we note that cyber­at­tack­ers have frozen a key data­base for bank­rupt­cy-afflict­ed Detroit.

In return, they are demand­ing 2,000 Bit­coins as ransom–no doubt because of the rel­a­tive­ly opaque and untrace­able nature of the dig­i­tal cur­ren­cy.

Rep­re­sent­ed as a vehi­cle for “lib­er­a­tion” from the banksters, Bit­coin has its roots in the Aus­tri­an school of eco­nom­ics and cyber-lib­er­tar­i­an fas­cism.

To flesh out your under­stand­ing, please access our pro­grams about Bit­coin: FTR #‘s 760764770, 785.

“Cyber­at­tack­ers Freeze Detroit Data­base, Demand 2,000 Bit­coin Ran­som” by Michael Grass; govexec.com; 11/17/2014.

. . . . The lat­est chal­lenge for Detroit’s lead­ers? Cyber­at­tack­ers who have been hold­ing a city data­base for ran­som for 2,000 bit­coins since April.

Dur­ing a speech at the North Amer­i­can Inter­na­tion­al Cyber Sum­mit being host­ed in the Motor City on Mon­day, May­or Mike Dug­gan dis­closed the news of the cyber­at­tack, The Detroit News reports. But the city won’t pay the bit­coin ransom—which is rough­ly val­ued at $803,500 accord­ing the cur­rent bit­coin valuation—because the now-frozen data­base wasn’t being used by the city.

The may­or said the ran­som was a good “warn­ing sign” that the resource-strapped city needs to do more to make sure its infor­ma­tion sys­tems are secure, accord­ing to the News. Dug­gan also not­ed that an indi­vid­ual involved in the city’s bank­rupt­cy pro­ceed­ings was the vic­tim of a cyber­at­tack that involved a “sig­nif­i­cant” amount of mon­ey being tak­en from their per­son­al check­ing account.

Oth­er speak­ers at the North Amer­i­can Inter­na­tion­al Cyber Sum­mit includ­ed Michi­gan Gov. Rick Sny­der, Michi­gan Chief Infor­ma­tion Offi­cer David Behen, for­mer U.S. Home­land Secu­ri­ty Sec­re­tary Michael Chertoff and Nation­al Asso­ci­a­tion of State Chief Infor­ma­tion Offi­cers Exec­u­tive Direc­tor Doug Robin­son.

Sny­der, accord­ing to the Detroit Free Press, announced an expan­sion of the vol­un­teer Michi­gan Cyber Civil­ian Corps, which can “be called on in an attack to come togeth­er in a team.” The state ini­tial­ly brought that group togeth­er in 2013.



One comment for “Cyber-Terrorists Holding Detroit Database Hostage, Demanding Ransom of 2,000 Bitcoins”

  1. Fed­er­al agents charged with steal­ing dig­i­tal cur­ren­cy dur­ing probe of black mar­ket in Inter­net


    By KRISTIN J. BENDER and PAUL ELIAS, Asso­ci­at­ed Press

    SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Two for­mer fed­er­al agents were charged with fraud in the theft of dig­i­tal cur­ren­cy dur­ing an inves­ti­ga­tion into an online black mar­ket known as Silk Road that let users buy and sell drugs and oth­er ille­gal items, author­i­ties said Mon­day.

    For­mer U.S. Secret Ser­vice spe­cial agent Shaun W. Bridges, 32, of Lau­rel, Mary­land, appeared in fed­er­al court in San Fran­cis­co but did­n’t enter a plea.

    He has been charged with wire fraud and mon­ey laun­der­ing. He was lat­er released on $500,000 unse­cured bond. His attor­ney, Steven Levin, declined to com­ment.

    Bridges is accused of divert­ing more than $800,000 in dig­i­tal cur­ren­cy to his per­son­al account after gain­ing con­trol of the funds dur­ing the Silk Road inves­ti­ga­tion.

    The com­plaint alleges that Bridges placed the assets into a now-defunct dig­i­tal cur­ren­cy exchange in Japan then wired funds into one of his per­son­al invest­ment accounts in the U.S.

    The crim­i­nal com­plaint was filed in the U.S. Dis­trict Court in San Fran­cis­co on Wednes­day and unsealed Mon­day.

    Carl M. Force, 46, of Bal­ti­more, a for­mer spe­cial agent with the Drug Enforce­ment Admin­is­tra­tion, also has been charged in the case. He was expect­ed to make an appear­ance in court Mon­day and remain in cus­tody pend­ing a deten­tion hear­ing on Thurs­day. His attor­ney Ivan Bates did not imme­di­ate­ly returns calls for com­ment.

    Force worked under­cov­er and was tasked with estab­lish­ing com­mu­ni­ca­tions with a tar­get of the inves­ti­ga­tion, Ross William Ulbricht, who was con­vict­ed of sev­en drug and con­spir­a­cy charges in Feb­ru­ary.

    Ulbricht was accused of cre­at­ing the mul­ti­mil­lion-dol­lar mar­ket­place for ille­gal drugs and oth­er con­tra­band and adopt­ing the alias Dread Pirate Roberts, a char­ac­ter from the movie “Princess Bride.”

    The web­site promised its buy­ers and sell­ers anonymi­ty by using encryp­tion and bit­coins.

    Force is charged with wire fraud, theft of gov­ern­ment prop­er­ty, mon­ey laun­der­ing and con­flict of inter­est.

    The com­plaint alleges that Force used fake online per­sonas and engaged in com­plex bit­coin trans­ac­tions to steal from the gov­ern­ment and Ulbricb­ht.

    Inves­ti­ga­tors say Force solicit­ed and received dig­i­tal cur­ren­cy as part of the inves­ti­ga­tion but failed to report the funds and instead trans­ferred the cur­ren­cy to his per­son­al account. In one such trans­ac­tion, Force sold infor­ma­tion about the gov­ern­men­t’s inves­ti­ga­tion to Ulbricht, author­i­ties say.

    The com­plaint also alleges that Force invest­ed in and worked for a dig­i­tal cur­ren­cy exchange com­pa­ny while still employed by the DEA. He direct­ed the com­pa­ny to freeze a cus­tomer’s account and then trans­ferred the account funds to his per­son­al account, it says.

    Copy­right 2015 The Asso­ci­at­ed Press. All rights reserved. This mate­r­i­al may not be pub­lished, broad­cast, rewrit­ten or redis­trib­uted.

    Posted by participo | March 31, 2015, 12:43 pm

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