Dutch University gets back double the ransomware payment

In the year 2019, a Netherlands-based University was victimized by a ransomware attack where cyber criminals demanded 200,000 Euros or $200,000 in the BTC to free up the database from encryption. As the educational institution was about to lose valuable staff, students and curriculum related data, it bowed down to the demands of ransomware spreading gang/s.

After thinking a lot and taking a time of a week, the IT and Senior Managerial staff of Southern Maastricht University paid the ransom as the criminals locked down Windows Server Access to about 25,000 students and employees as they encrypted scientific information, library and email access. The issue was resolved as the ransomware distribution group of criminals returned the stolen data and also offered a decryption key, as promised.

During a separate investigation made in the year 2020, the Dutch police discovered that ransom payment made by Southern Maastricht University was diverted to a person based in Ukraine. And they arrested him and tried to extract the funds earned by him in illicit ways.

They seized his bank and e-wallets accounts and found that they were filled with different crypto currencies, out of which a portion of amount belonged to Maastricht University.

After a thorough investigation and follow-ups, they returned the recovered money to their victims.

So, as the value of the bitcoins paid then has doubled in recent times, the university victim will receive the amount of 200 BTC. Since the value of BTC has tripled against US Dollar in recent times, the victim will be paid 500,000 Euros literally by the Netherlands Police.

Michael Borgers, the ICT Director of Maastricht, confirmed the news and added that the additional profits gained from the ransom reimbursement will fund crash strapped students who are economically backward.

 

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Naveen Goud
Naveen Goud is a writer at Cybersecurity Insiders covering topics such as Mergers & Acquisitions, Startups, Cyber Attacks, Cloud Security and Mobile Security

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