Cryptocurrencies

Argentine Telecom Hackers Demanded $7.5M in Crypto as Ransom

Cybercriminals allegedy demanded ransom in privacy-focused cryptocurrency monero. (Shutterstock)

The hackers behind an unsuccessful ransomware attack on Argentina’s leading telecommunications company, Telecom SA, demanded $7.5 million in monero (XMR) to allow infected computers to go back to normal operations.

  • According to unidentified employees of Telecom SA, the company’s network was under attack for up to 72 hours, affecting employee access to its virtual private network (VPN) and a number of databases, Argentinian news publication El Periodista reported on Saturday.
  • On Sunday, Argentine daily newspaper, La Nacion, confirmed the malicious attack adding that it only affected the computers of teams providing remote customer service, and that hackers asked for the sum to release keys that would allow infected computers to regain access to the system. 
  • Rumors of a crypto ransom first began circulating on Twitter, on Saturday, after economist Alex Kruger tweeted that hackers were demanding a $7.5 million in privacy-focused cryptocurrency monero. 
  • The tweet included an image that indicated the hackers threatened to double the ransom to $15 million if it was not paid within 48 hours. 
  • In another attached image, Telecom SA apparently urged its employees to “minimize” accessing the corporate network, avoid using VPNs and refrain from opening emails containing attachments. 
  • The image also said that the attack had not affected the firm’s critical services, and that its cyberdefense teams were working to contain it. 
  • According to La Nacion’s post, Telecom SA said it curtailed the attack without having to pay the ransom.

Related Stories

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

Latest Cryptocurrencies Videos

    CoinDesk

    CoinDesk is the leading digital media, events and information services company for the crypto asset and blockchain technology community. Its mandate is to inform, educate and connect the global community as the authoritative daily news provider dedicated to chronicling the space. Founded in May 2013, CoinDesk reaches millions interested in blockchain technology thru its website, social media, newsletters, podcasts and video. CoinDesk created the original reference rate known as the Bitcoin Price Index which is widely sourced in the media including The Wall Street Journal, Financial Times, CNBC and many others on a daily basis.

    Learn More