‘Robin Hood’ Hackers Are Donating Stolen Money To Charity
A group of hackers behind attacks on several multimillion dollar companies have started donating stolen money to charity, saying they want to ‘make the world a better place’.
The Darkside hacker group posted receipts to the Dark Web for two $10,000 donations made to charities using bitcoin.
The two charities, Children International and The Water Project, received the money through a US based donations service called The Giving Page, which was set up to help make it more straightforward for cryptocurrency millionaires to donate money to charity. In a blog post, the hackers claim that they only target large, profitable companies in their attacks.
We think that it’s fair that some of the money the companies have paid will go to charity.
No matter how bad you think our work is, we are pleased to know that we helped changed someone’s life. Today we [sent] the first donations.
Unfortunately for the hackers, it seems like not everyone agrees with their unorthodox methods. One of the charities, Children International, has already said that it will not accept the money, telling BBC News that ‘if the donation is linked to a hacker, we have no intention of keeping it’.
Darkside are a relatively new group of hackers, and experts say this is the first time cybercriminals have used stolen money to donate to charity.
According to BBC News, one cybersecurity expert said of the hack:
What the criminals hope to achieve by making these donations is not at all clear. Perhaps it helps assuage their guilt? Or perhaps for egotistical reasons they want to be perceived as Robin Hood-like characters rather than conscienceless extortionists.
Whatever their motivations, it’s certainly a very unusual step and is, as far as I know, the first time a ransomware group has donated a portion of their profits to charity.
Analysts have also pointed out that, while law enforcement agencies have become better at tracing cryptocurrency transactions, the fact that it is still possible for large transfers such as the ones made by Darkside to be conducted anonymously is troubling, and could potentially open up new avenues for other financial crimes such as money laundering.
The idea of ‘Robin Hood’ hackers has sparked debate over the ethics of charities accepting stolen money. And while sites like The Giving Page are certainly making it easier for vigilantes looking to donate large sums of Bitcoin, for the rest of us, it’s probably best to just stick to the sponsored fun runs.
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