Another cyberattack; hackers ransom 85,000 SQL database for Bitcoin

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Database owners have to pay $550 in Bitcoin to hackers within nine days to regain access to their account—or risk losing it permanently. According to a report by security publication ZDNet, over 85,000 accounts have been reportedly affected so far.
SQL—which is short for Structured Query Language—is a widely-used computer language used to access, manage, and change data on servers or cloud systems. It has been heralded in the developer community for being fast, easy to learn, and highly interactive.
Such advantages make SQL databases a very popular tool globally, and also a good target for attack. Security analysts suggest these hackers have been active since the start of 2020, with the extent of such attacks rising in the past months.
The attack sees hackers fraudulently gain access to an SQL database, download the entire data, delete the data on the original server, and proceed to leave a ransom note for owners to retrieve their database.
They even leave a time-lock to coerce victims to quickly make payments. “If we don’t receive your payment in the next 9 days, we will sell your database to the highest bidder or use them otherwise,” reads one such ransom note.
At first, the notes directed the victims to the attackers’ email. However, as the attacks grew, the operation was automated (the data released automatically on payment) and made accessible via a website on the dark net.
Hackers are said to demand about $550 worth of Bitcoin for each affected database. Exchange rate fluctuations mean the number of BTC demanded may change every day—it can be drastically higher or lower today in comparison to last week—but security analysts think the actual dollar amount remains the same.
Bitcoin ransom attacks have increased in tandem with the rise of the crypto market in 2020, with attackers covering a large variety of victims and methods—such as Pakistani electricity companies, Argentinian borders, and even using Dogecoin wallets—to ply their trade and eke out some BTC. And with the use of technology increasing each year, the attacks are only expected to grow.

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