Cyber Criminals Target Bank of China for Bitcoin Ransom

ChinaCyber criminals attacking businesses for bitcoin has spread from the West to the Far East, as new attacks are being reported by some of the world’s top Asian banks. The Bank of China and the Bank of East Asia have been attacked in recent days by hackers looking for Bitcoin ransom, according to Hong Kong’s The Standard news feed. These hackers have damaged the bank’s websites, and they are believed to not be domestic but foreign criminals, reports

Cyber Criminals Say Attacks Will Continue

The attackers claim to want bitcoin as ransom, and will resume the digital damage unless they get what they want. Authorities are confirming that the two financial institutions have claimed to be targeted in this manner, with their business websites suffering attacks about ten days ago, leading to service issues.

“The two institutions later received e-mails demanding payments in bitcoins, or there would be another round of attacks,” a spokesman said.

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The Cyber Security and Technology Crime Bureau is looking at this as basic blackmail and is in the process of an investigation. It is believed these attacks are being lodged from multiple countries, and not domestically.

According to the Bank of China, their website suffered a distributed denial of service attack on two Saturdays ago but said its customer service was unaffected. Bank of East Asia discovered the DDOS issue when they saw an unusual spike in online traffic. There are contingency measures in place to deal with such technical issues and also says customer service and data was unaffected. Banks were asked to submit reports by the Hong Kong Monetary Authority.

Last year, over two dozen such cases were reported relating to DDoS attacks in Hong Kong, with the government, public institutions and media websites the common targets. Several of these attacks have already taken place in the United States, affecting police departments and even targeting families looking for ransom in bitcoin.