$7.5M in Monero Demanded in Alleged Cyber Attack on Argentinian Telecom Giant – Finance Magnates

July 20, 2020 By admin

Privacy-focused cryptocurrency Monero (XMR) is at the center of an alleged ransomware attack on Telecom S.A., Argentina’s largest telecommunications company.

Hackers are reportedly demanding that the company send the equivalent of roughly $7.5 million in XMR, though Telecom SA had not spoken publicly about the attack at press time. Finance Magnates has reached out to employees of Telecom SA via LinkedIn for comment, and will update this story if commentary is received.

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Telecom SA has reportedly been experiencing technical issues since Wednesday, but the link to the ransomware attack did not appear until Sunday

News that Telecom S.A. was undergoing a cyber attack appears to have originally been reported by Argentinian news source El Periodista on July 19th, although the report didn’t mention the Monero ransom specifically.

Instead, the connection between the news of the cyberattack and the $7.5 million XMR demand seems to have been made by economist and renowned crypto twitter commentator Alex Krüger, who tweeted on July 19th that “Argentina’s major telephone company, Telecom, just got hacked. Hackers requesting a ransom of $7.5 million in Monero. $XMR.”

The original tweet included a screenshot of what appeared to be the attacker’s alleged demands. The image shows a request for 109k Monero, equivalent to $7.5 million, which is to be paid by July 21st. A line of text on the image says that “if you do not pay, the price will be doubled.”

The image also says that “you will not be able to decrypt the files yourself if you try, you will lose your files forever (sic).”