Canadian Indigenous Tribe Organization Pays Out Ransom to Hacker

It seems that the old practice of extortion is gaining steam in the crypto sector, as Canada experienced another hack to blackmail an organization. This time the target was the Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations (FSIN), where a hacker penetrated their systems and locked them up, only willing to release them in exchange for bitcoins.

The FSIN, who represent indigenous tribes within Canada’s borders were extorted for $20,000 CAD worth of bitcoin in order to regain their computer systems, after an anonymous hacker encrypted their files. This cyber heist began over 5 months ago, as the FSIN, who represent the 74 First Nations in the province of Saskatchewan, when on of their staff received an email, requesting a number of bitcoins estimated to valued at $100,000 CAD at the time, in exchange for their computer files.

The hacker gained access to a variety of data within the federations system, including their email system, internal files, land claims,treaty card numbers, social insurance numbers, and health claims of the federation’s staff and executive members. While local authorities were contacted, the FSIN were instructed to refrain from paying out the ransom, as hackers who engage in extortion are generally not to be trusted with upholding the agreement.

Going against the suggestion given to the federation, a negotiation was undertook, and the ransom was eventual paid to the hacker, leaving some committee members in the dark about the transaction. After the bitcoins were paid, the FSIN subsequently contacted a private cybersecurity company.