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Bitcoins / Breaking News

How To Outsmart A Bitcoin Thief, Coin Talk Style

Last week saw Coin Talk co-host, Aaron Lammer fall victim to a malicious ransom-style attack that saw his website experience a lock down, for the ransom of 0.025BTC, a ransom of around $230.00.

In an unlikely turn of events however, Lammer seemed to outsmart the thief, giving the developers of the website enough time to regain control, leaving the hacker a little more than embarrassed to say the least.

You can take a look at the full report from Coin Talk, here- https://medium.com/@cointalk.show/aaron-lammer-talks-to-the-hacker-who-bitcoin-ransomed-his-webiste-fd68d6699e05

Just as an advanced warning, the report does contain some hilarious content.

The website was encrypted by a malicious individual who set a five-hour time limit and a ransom payment of 0.025BTC. If the payment was not received during this time then the hacker threatened to totally delete the website, including all PHP, CSS and Javascript components.

As with many such attacks, the hacker left contact details for Lammer, so he could get in touch with them if he had any issues with making the payment, that’s only fair right? (What a democratic way to commit a crime).

Lammer took this opportunity, to express some concerns with the hacker, who seems to have taken on the alias “Barberousse Mohammed”.

Initially, Lammer tempted Mohammed with a payment of 1,000,000 pre-sale tokens from an unidentified ICO, yet of course, Mohammed refused and claimed to only accept Bitcoin payments.

Cleverly, Lammer uses this as an opportunity to, in quite a hilarious way, cement his belief in Bitcoin Cash, as the real Bitcoin, so continued to talk to Mohammed about making the payment in BCH and not BTC.

Bitcoin Thief ChatBitcoin Thief Chat

Images sourced from https://medium.com/@cointalk.show/aaron-lammer-talks-to-the-hacker-who-bitcoin-ransomed-his-webiste-fd68d6699e05

The saga continued, as Mohammed constantly reminds Lammer of the pending time limit, after which he agrees to send BTC (which of course, he doesn’t actually do).

Mohammed further complains that the payment is taking too long to reach their wallet.

Lammer responds by stating:

“Yeah exactly bro – can you believe we’re still sitting around here STILL waiting for confirmation?”

“Lightening network could help with this”

This argument continues, with Lammer complaining about fees, block sizes, whales etc.

During this time, Mohammed is left utterly perplexed.

The saga eventually concludes with Dreamhost, restoring the website, leaving Lammer smug, with all of his Bitcoin in tact and Mohammed, a little embarrassed, one might imagine.

Whilst this is a bit of fun, it does highlight a serious side to crypto-crime. Extortion like this, through ransom-attacks can be devastating, need I mention ‘Wannacry’ and the recent worldwide ransomware attack which devastating many international networks.

The take home message here is never pay the ransom and of course, never engage in any form of communication with hackers, if you find yourself in a similar situation. There is always a way past these sorts of attacks, in the instance you fall victim to one, speak to a cyber-security expert or technician.

Cryptocurrency was not designed for this, one day the industry will overcome it, for now however, education means we can all at least protect ourselves from it.


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Robert is a keen investor with a particular interest in cryptocurrencies. He has been involved in the industry for many years, and because of this, has gathered a lot of knowledge surrounding this area. He studied English at university level and has a passion for writing. He loves being able to combine his two mains interests on a daily basis.