Canada’s Native Tribe Parts With Bitcoin As Ransom
Organization Pays C$20,000 Ransom In Bitcoins
It has emerged that a group representing First Nations' peoples in Canada parted with a ransom in bitcoin. The ransom is believed to be worth thousands of dollars. The payment was meant to regain access to control computer files that had been locked by a hacker.
Reports in the Canadian media states that bitcoin worth C$20, 000 was paid through the FSIN to an attacker who has remained anonymous and at large. The attacker had access to the group’s computer systems. The reports added that the hacker got in touch with the organization back in May by emailing staff. He demanded a ransom worth C$100, 000 for the files to be released.
The organization has headquarters in the province of Saskatchewan. It represents the 74 Nations in Canada.
Sources privy to the matter indicated that the hacker had access to the email platform alongside stealing data containing land ownership. It is not clear when the attacker took control of the system since he had remained undetected. He also took control of treaty card numbers, social insurance data and health claims.
Following the hack, the organization's audit committee convened a meeting where some propositions were fronted. One of the proposals was to notify the police and make the hack public. However, these measures were not enacted. The committee resolved to warn staff not to pay any ransom to the hacker. According to the executives, ransom could not be paid because nobody was sure if the hacker would keep his end of the bargain to release the files.
The organization appeared to dismiss the recommendations by going ahead in order to initiate negotiations before agreeing to pay the ransom. Media reports further indicate that three members from the audit committee demanded an explanation over the ransom payment. They wanted to determine the real reason why they disobeyed the recommendations. Following the hack, FSIN acquired services of a cybersecurity firm to secure its systems.
This is the not the first time ransom has been paid in cryptos. Last month, a small town in Ontario, Canda parted with an undisclosed figure of bitcoin in ransom. The hackers had gained access to the town’s systems. The hackers managed to cripple marriage certificate applications and email services among other operations.
Another hack was reported at Carleton University in Ottawa. The institution resolved not to pay a ransom in bitcoin as demanded by hackers. The institution’s IT department restored the infected systems.