WannaCry hackers have withdrawn more than $142,000 worth of bitcoins, which were collected as a ransom through the cyber attack. These transactions are reported by actual ransom, a twitter bot monitoring Bitcoin wallets linked with WannaCry ransomware attack.
In May 2017, WannaCry ransomware attacked as many as 200,000 computers in 150 countries, locked up their systems and demanded $300 to $600 worth of bitcoins from victims wanting access to their files. Now, after three months, the hackers have finally withdrawn this ransom money from their wallets.
Marcus Hutchins, a young researcher who stopped this cyber attack by accidentally discovering a “Kill switch”, has also been arrested by FBI. His arrest comes within the 24 hours of these transactions by hackers. However, officials haven’t made clear the reason for his arrest.
These withdrawals happened a days after Bitcoin’s split, which created another cryptocurrency called Bitcoin Cash. Since Bitcoin owners can also trade in Bitcoin cash, hackers apparently tried to make an extra 20% profit, as Bitcoin cash was trading at a higher value than Bitcoin at the time of withdrawal.
The general perception is that Bitcoin is completely anonymous. Contrarily, all the transactions are made public on the blockchain, an online ledger — only the identity of the user is kept secret. It is expected that these ransom bitcoins will go through a “Bitcoin mixture” in order to obfuscate the further transactions.