Ukrainian hacker arrested for selling government information in exchange for crypto

With concern for cybercrimes rising in frequency and intensity around the world, the Ukrainian police have arrested a hacker for selling confidential information in exchange for cryptocurrency

Image of hacker sat at computer monitors
Entities around the world have been targeted by cyberattacks during the first half of 2020

Ukrainian police have arrested a hacker revealed to be offering confidential government information in exchange for cryptocurrency payments across a variety of online platforms.

The police revealed that the hacker managed to break into the government database by first infiltrating the personal accounts of authorised staff.

The hacker’s identity has not been revealed.

Authorities have revealed that the hacker employed brute force tactics to access the social media accounts and email addresses of government staff. From here, he managed to obtain access to around 50 government databases. After harvesting all the data he could, the hacker moved to sell them on niche forums in exchange for cryptocurrency.

The police seized the hacker’s computer on July 8 and found a conversation on Skype discussing the hacker’s rates for the database. Following this conversation, it was revealed that he or she charged 6.5 rubles (10 cents) for every valid database entry. The police believe that this client originates from Russia since the price was given in their local currency.

The cybercriminal now faces charges for the “unauthorized sale or dissemination of information with limited access stored in computers, automated systems, networks, or on media” under Article 361-2 of the penal code of Ukraine.

If proven guilty, the hacker will face up to five years of imprisonment. According to Cointelegraph, the leaked database must not have contained sensitive information since the hacker was not charged for high treason.

Not the first time

This follows a similar incident on the BlueLeaks server that occurred in the US in June 2020. DDOSecrets displayed over 270 gigabytes of data; allegedly obtained after a cyber attack on a web design company located in Texas, which had access to several state law enforcement data sharing portals.

This was leaked onto the internet through its website, which was freely accessible to the public.

An article by the Mexico News Daily revealed that ethical hackers who spoke with local news outlets are predicting more cyberattacks in the coming days within the country. In the US, a hacker claims that they have successfully infiltrated the backend servers of a cybersecurity firm and stolen information.

A study conducted by Emsisoft, which ran from January to April of this year, discovered that at least 60 government entities, including police departments, transport agencies, other federal agencies and entire cities have been breached by hackers. Schools, universities, hospitals and healthcare providers have also experienced cyberattacks in the first half of this year.

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