Tether hit ransom demand with 500 Bitcoin – but says it’s not paying off

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Hackers have threatened to release sensitive corporate documents allegedly owned by USDT stablecoin issuer Tether unless the company sends a 500 bitcoin (BTC) ransom to a specific address.

As the official Twitter account for Tether revealed on February 28, hackers allegedly threatened to lose documents that would “damage the Bitcoin ecosystem” if their ransom demands were not met. Tether has previously stated that it will not pay the ransom, which is $ 23.8 million at the time of publication. The company tweeted:

“Today we also received a ransom note for 500 BTC to be sent to bc1qa9f60pved3w3w0p7snpxlnh5t4uj95vxn797a7. The sender said that unless they receive the BTC by tomorrow, they will release documents to the public to “harm the Bitcoin ecosystem.” We don’t pay. “

The company said the blackmailers’ motives were unclear, noting that this could be a simple cash robbery or part of a larger effort to undermine Tether and the rest of the Bitcoin ecosystem.

“It is unclear whether this is a basic blackmail scheme, as it is aimed at other crypto companies or at people who seek to undermine Tether and the crypto community at large. Either way, those who want to harm Tether are becoming more and more desperate, ”the company tweeted.

Tether may have assumed the worst problems were behind this after reaching an agreement on the landmark case launched by the New York Attorney General’s office against the company. To end the legal uncertainty surrounding Tether in recent years, the company has been asked to pay a $ 18.5 million fine and submit regular reports on its reserves. The company said it had not admitted any wrongdoing following the New York court ruling.

On February 28, Tether warned customers that there were fake documents circulating on the Internet that allegedly were real communications between Tether and representatives of Deltec Bank and Trust

“PSA: Forged documents are circulated online claiming to be between @tether_to employees and representatives of Deltec Bank & Trust and others. The documents are forged. “

The tweet and Twitter account from which the documents were posted has since been deleted, although the peripheral discussion of the posts can still be found on Reddit.

Now, Tether is going to seek help from the authorities in what it considers a “rather sad shakedown attempt”. A tweet from the company stated:

“While we think this is a pretty sad attempt at shakedown, we take it seriously. We reported the fake communications and the associated ransom note to law enforcement agencies. As always, we will fully support law enforcement as they investigate this blackmail scheme. “

The deadline by which Tether was sentenced to pay the ransom of 500 BTC has now expired. Cointelegraph contacted Tether to see if any further developments had taken place and this article will be updated if we get a response.