A Ukrainian hacker was caught selling government databases for crypto currency

A Ukrainian hacker was caught selling confidential information collected from Ukraine’s central government databases.

According to a press release from the Ukrainian cyber police, a hacker whose identity was not revealed was able to break into many government databases by compromising the personal accounts of authorized personnel.

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According to the reports, the cybercriminal used brute-force approaches to enter e-mail addresses and social network accounts. Through this simple method, he appears to have found 50 government databases with up-to-date information.

He then tried to sell the information collected on hacker forums in exchange for crypto currency. The authorities did not disclose which currency he was requesting.

The police searched the nefarious actor’s apartment, confiscating the equipment used to carry out these deals. A picture of what appears to be his computer shows a Skype conversation supposedly related to these deals. The hacker told a potential customer that the price was „6.5 (rubles) for a valid (ticket)“. The customer was allegedly in Russia, as the currency of Ukraine is the Grivna. The price would be approximately USD 0.10 for each entry in the database.

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The perpetrator was charged with „unauthorized sale and distribution of limited access information“, a crime with a maximum penalty of five years‘ imprisonment. Given the lack of high treason charges, it seems likely that the data were not extraordinarily sensitive.

Other hacking stories
Hackers often use crypto-currencies to sell confidential data. As reported by Cointelegraph in early July, a group of hackers made more than USD 7 million by selling stolen credit card data.

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A very common attack method involving crypto currencies is ransomware, where malware encrypts computer data and requests payment in crypto currencies for decryption. Despite many reported attacks, a recent finding shows that the frequency of these attacks has decreased by 2020.

A high-profile data leak caught the attention of crypto space in May, when a SIM exchange attack resulted in the compromise of Bitcoin Billionaire client database.