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School Recovers Ransomware Paid in Bitcoin - Makes a Profit

Sunday July 3, 2022. 05:34 PM , from Slashdot
Slashdot reader thegarbz writes: In 2019 Maastricht University in the Netherlands was hit with a ransomware attack which locked 25,000 staff and students out of their research data. The university agreed to pay a ransom of €200,000 to unlock the encrypted data, reports German broadcaster DW. It seems that a small part of the ransom has been recovered, but with a twist.

As part of an investigation into the cyberattack, Dutch police tracked down a bank account belonging to a money launderer in Ukraine, into which a relatively small amount of the ransom money — around €40,000 worth of Bitcoin — had been paid.

Prosecutors were able to seize the account in 2020 and found a number of different cryptocurrencies. The authorities were then able to return the ransom back to the university after more than two years. But the value of the Bitcoin held in the Ukrainian account has increased from its then-value of €40,000 to €500,000.

A university official said the money will go into 'a fund to help financially strapped students.'

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

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