On 6 December 2017, $52 million worth of digital currency disappeared mysteriously from the possession of NiceHash, the Slovenian company that allows their users to sell computing power to help people mine virtual currencies. Many NiceHash users are surprised to discover the CTO of the company was incarcerated for operating as well as reselling a huge botnet. He also created ‘Darkode.’
4 years earlier, the CTO of NiceHash, Matjaž Škorjanc went to prison for more than 4 years for building a malware that powered ‘Mariposa botnet.’ This botnet was a powerful crime machine that came into the limelight in 2008. After that, it was estimated Mariposa infected over 1 million computers.
Companies that were not supported by firms that specialize in Cybersecurity Consulting in South Florida were affected. The Butterfly Bot was a malware strain that let users harvest data from lots of infected PCs. They also use this information for stopping attacks on websites. Each kit was sold for $500 minimum and $2,000 maximum.
Before the CTO was arrested in Slovenia for cybercrime in 2010, he was known as ‘Iserdo’ the founder of a cybercrime forum called Darkode. Iserdo sold the Butterfly Bot to other members who used the technology for different illegal purposes. They stole passwords as well as credit card numbers from the infected machines. They also blasted spam emails and hijacked the search results of their victim. Microsoft PCs that were infected attempt to spread the virus over peer-to-peer sharing networks and MSN instant messenger.
In 2015, law enforcement in the U.S took down the Darkode crime forum and arrested many top members. This forum represented a great risk to the integrity of the data on computers. After the arrest of Škorjanc, the Slovenian media stated that his mother was arrested for money laundering and they discovered that some large sums were sent to her account by Škorjanc. However, the case was thrown out in May after the prosecutors agreed that she did not know the source of the money.
The CTO, Matjaž Škorjanc didn’t give any comment on the issue. However, the local media reported that he denied being involved in the mysterious disappearance of the bitcoins. In a different interview with a news outlet in Slovenia, the CTO of NiceHash stated that the theft could be likened to the kidnap of one of his children.
Media reports also state that the hackers succeeded in executing the heist after the stole the credentials of another user with the privileges of an administrator at NiceHash. Less than one hour after getting this confidential information, about 4,465 Bitcoins were stolen from the company’s account.
To prevent such incidents, contact a firm that specializes in Cybersecurity Consulting in South Florida. This will help keep your data safe.