Two Finnish banks, OP-Pohjola and Danske Bank, reportedly suffered denial-of-service (DoS) attacks, during which they were threatened to pay a total of 110 BTC. At the time of the attacks, the sum was worth roughly 22,000 euros.
Op-Pohjola reportedly bore the brunt of the attacks. Starting on New Year’s Eve, clients were unable to access their online banking for over a week. The attackers demanded 100 BTC from Op-Pohjola in exchange for ceasing the attacks. They demanded 10 BTC from Danske Bank. Both institutions refused.
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Other than what has already been reported, investigators have been fairly tight-lipped about the exact nature of the events. An official with the local National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) said that nobody has been arrested yet nor questioned in connection with the attacks. He also did not comment on rumors over the nature of the perpetrators. Some believe the attacks were carried out by Finnish teenagers, while others suspect sophisticated cyber criminals from abroad.
Extortionists have found bitcoin a convenient tool for making their demands without fear of getting caught. Transactions can be made effectively anonymously, and are not under the control of a centralized third party capable of reversing them. Also recently, hackers who stole client data from Morgan Stanley offered it online in exchange for cryptocurrency.