Recently, a world renowned Bitcoin Activist (and early adopter, worth an undisclosed sum of the currency) Roger Ver, began receiving extortion requests from a hacker known as “Clerk1337”. The culprit utilized a frequently overlooked method of highjacking a domain registration, this time through Register.com, whereby he guessed certain generic user information requests, such as the name of a first pet, or what street the victim had grown up on, to finally access his private Hotmail account, along with this Social Security Number, Passport Number, and other sensitive data.
Clerk1337 then contacted Ver, attempting to extort slightly over 37 Bitcoins, with a current value of over $20,000. If the victim failed to pay, the hacker threatened to “sell his information to fraudsters”, which could significantly damage credit ratings and severely complicate his online presence.
Where this story takes a turn, however, is that Ver opted to post a 37 Bitcoin bounty, for information leading to Clerk1337’s arrest. After linking the criminal to this Facebook post, suprisingly, the hacker suddenly feared for his own safety and accountability. Within a few short hours, he had turned over control of all the compromised accounts back to Ver, and stopped responding to further contact.
This marks one of the first times a cyber-victim found any justice whatsoever, let alone such a swift reversal. Ver has yet to confirm whether the bounty is still available for collection.