26.02.2024

Ransomware demanded a $ 23 million ransom from Tether, but was refused

The company behind the USDT cryptocurrency issue received a ransom demand of 500 BTC, or $ 23 million at current exchange rates. Otherwise, unknown hackers promised to publish information important for the company and the entire cryptocurrency community in the public domain.

The deadline for payment expired on Monday, which means that the scammers did not receive the funds.

As a reminder, USDT is the most popular stablecoin in the blockchain industry. The cryptocurrency rate is pegged to the dollar, which ensures the popularity of this instrument. In particular, stablecoins allow you to wait out the stages of correction, that is, the collapse, of the market and save the value of your cryptocurrency portfolio in dollar terms.

Roughly speaking, a trader could exchange his ether for USDT at a rate of $ 2,000 per ETH, wait out a few days of a violent collapse and buy the same coin for $ 1,400 the day before. This way, he would not lose the opportunity to earn and prepare for the next stage of growth. However, it should be noted that it is very difficult to predict the local peak of the rate and its bottom, therefore, it is rather difficult to do this in practice.

We checked the latest data: USDT continues to hold the first position among stablecoins. According to yesterday’s data, it accounts for 69.16 percent of the total capitalization of stablecoins, that is, the leadership is undeniable at the moment.

stablecoins share

Distribution of stablecoins in the industry

At the same time, the closest competitor – USDC – continues to gain momentum. Now it has 17.09 percent of the market, although as early as January 1 of this year, the show was 14.3 percent.

Examples of Bitcoin Scams

As representatives of the company reported on the official Twitter account of Tether the day before, the hackers threatened to leak documents that would “harm the Bitcoin ecosystem” if their ransom demands were not met. Immediately thereafter, management announced that it would not pay the ransom, which at the time of publication was $ 23.8 million.

Here’s a Twitter post from the company that makes their position more clear. The replica is provided by Cointelegraph.

Today we also received a 500 BTC ransom demand to be sent to bc1qa9f60pved3w3w0p7snpxlnh5t4uj95vxn797a7. The sender said that if he did not receive BTC by tomorrow, he would merge documents into the public domain in order to «harm the Bitcoin ecosystem.» We will not pay.

We checked the specified address: the money really did not arrive there. The final balance of the wallet is 0.00001488 BTC, which means that the ransomware’s demand was really ignored.

cryptocurrencies blockchain bitcoin

The aforementioned scammers’ address hasn’t received any major transactions lately

The firm said the ransomware’s motives were unclear. They also speculated that this could be a simple bluff or part of a campaign to undermine the reputation of Tether and the rest of the crypto market ecosystem. At the same time, representatives of the company warned customers that fake documents circulate on the Internet, which allegedly are genuine messages between the company and representatives of Deltec Bank and Trust. The Twitter account that posted the documents has already been deleted.

Note that there can indeed be reasons for wanting to ruin Tether’s reputation. The fact is that on the eve of Bitfinex and Tether resolved problems with the office of the Attorney General of New York (NYAG) in a case against the companies, which began about two years ago. Management agreed to pay $ 18.5 million in settlement of a legal dispute.

We are talking about a statement by the prosecutor’s office in April 2019 by the prosecutor’s office that Bitfinex used Tether funds to cover $ 850 million and did not make this information public. Now it turns out that the position of the company is much better than it was before.

After all that has happened, the company will cooperate with law enforcement agencies in order to stop this attempt to «undermine its activities.» The identities of those suspected of leaking fake information have not yet been identified.

We think the situation is quite comical. Yet the scammers did not even bother to clarify exactly what «important information» they were going to publish in the public domain, as a result of which the leadership of Tether decided to ignore the requirement. Well, if all this was originally a bluff, then it would be silly to hope for some positive outcome for the extortionists. Especially considering how it was presented by them.

Apparently, nothing threatens Tether right now. Therefore, company representatives can focus on further work and development of the blockchain asset industry.

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