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Future Society

Banks Are Hoarding Bitcoin to Pay Off Hackers

We DO negotiate with cyberterrorists.

Kristin HouserOctober 24th 2016

Hacking just might pay, if a new trend amongst several of London’s largest banks is to be believed. According to sources, the banks have begun stockpiling bitcoins, an untraceable virtual currency, to pay off hackers targeting their institutions with cyberattacks.

The revelation that these banks are setting aside ransom funds comes in the wake of a slew of cyberattacks on Friday. Twitter, Reddit, and Netflix users all found their favorite sites down in a coordinated Distributed Denial of Service (DDos) attack.

The attackers used a Mirai-based IoT botnet to overload the sites’ servers with malicious requests from millions of IP addresses. The attack was made possible by the increasing number of devices connected within the internet of things. Any smartphone or connected device with weak login credentials can become weaponized in such an attack, and with more and more devices connected to the IoT every day, what’s a company to do?

The attack on Friday shows that sites from all sectors can be targeted by these attacks, not just those with the most cash on hand. With police ill-equipped to deal with cyberattacks, negotiating with online terrorists might just be the quickest and most effective way for companies across all industries to get back online and back to business.

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