Bitcoin Ransom of $220K Paid by Maastricht University

Jeff Francis reports that Maastricht University in the Netherlands paid a Bitcoin ransom of US$220,000 to hackers who infected the university’s system with malware on December 24 after an employee fell for a phishing attack the previous month:

The hackers, later identified as TA505, a Russian criminal gang, demanded a ransom of 30 bitcoins, which was worth $220,000 at the time. (Now the BTC would be worth over $288,000.) The university decided to pay the Bitcoin ransom as the alternative was to rebuild the school’s entire IT network from the ground up.

University Vice-President Nick Bos said at a press conference:

The damage of that to the work of the students, scientists, staff, as well as the continuity of the institution, can scarcely be conceived.

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