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A curious story about how a university lost 200,000 euros as a result of a ransomware attack, and after 3 years returned 500,000 euros


All ransomware attacks are unfair because they are still attempted theft and pure extortion. But they are especially cruel when they touch hospitals or educational centers.

In 2019 Maastricht University hit by ransomware attack which completely blocked hundreds of servers, backup computers and computers used by students.

After a week of trying to regain control, but without success, the university decided to pay 200,000 euros in ransom because “personal data was in danger of being lost, and students could not take exams or work on their diplomas“, as explained by the representative of the German media De Volkskrant.

After the transfer of the money, Maastricht University regained control of its computers. But the case was not closed.

Like the logic police launched an investigation search for cybercriminals responsible for the ransomware attack.

According to media, police experts tracked the ransom money to a Ukrainian bank account belonging to money laundering company.

they just found €40,000 of the €200,000 ransom… is invested in bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.

It was only a fifth of what was stolen, but after being exchanged for real money, at a time when cryptocurrencies were breaking price records, those 40,000 euros became… 500,000 euros, who were returned to the university.

So even though the school lost €200,000 in almost three years, it ended up recovering more than double that amount.

This money will not go to a general fund, but to a fund to help students with economic problems.Michiel Borgers, director of the ICT department at Maastricht University, told De Volkskrant.

Ransomware attack with a happy ending. This would not have been possible if the money had been saved in 2022, when the price of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies dropped to a minimum.

Source: Computer Hoy

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