Virtual currency, Bitcoin is constantly being used as a means of extracting the payment, by blackmailing people or demanding ransom in exchange for data. According to recent reports hackers have demanded the bitcoin ransomware from users of vulnerable cameras sold by Amazon (AMZN) and its subsidiary Ring.
Ransomware attacks are ones in which hackers infect users’ devices, encrypt their files and then demand a bitcoin payment in order to grant the victim a decryption key. In some cases, these attacks can be extremely damaging, which was seen when ransom seeking hackers locked 10 years’ worth of government data in Argentina and demanded Bitcoin in order for the files to be returned.
The more recent misuse of bitcoin in this way was reported as part of a lawsuit against Amazon and its subsidiary, Ring. According to a lawsuit against Amazon and Ring, the two companies are being sued for $5 million after they sold vulnerable cameras to their users. Apart from the plaintiff, Alabama’s John Baker Orange, multiple other families from across the US have reported being disturbed and harassed by online criminals who hacked their cameras.
At least four families have reported similar issues from Georgia, Florida, Mississippi, and Texas. Customers have reported that hackers have used their outdoors cameras for spying on them, talking to their children and encouraging ‘destructive behavior,’ and, as mentioned, they demanded bitcoin ransom in order to leave them alone.
Cameras that operate via Wi-Fi, just like any other IoT device, come with default passwords that any hacker can use to gain access to the device.
The consumers either did not change these passwords, according to the firm, or they used very weak passwords that they used for their online accounts, and its the reason, that were compromised in one of the countless hacking attacks.