While Tether said the documents circulated online were fake, they revealed yesterday that they did receive a ransom note demanding 500 bitcoins, otherwise the alleged leaked data would be published publicly online.
“Today, we also received a ransom note asking for 500 BTC to be sent to the wallet address: bc1qa9f60pved3w3w0p7snpxlnh5t4uj95vxn797a7. The sender said that unless they receive the BTC by tomorrow, it will leak files to the public, as well as disrupt the Bitcoin ecosystem. “We are not prepared to pay (the ransom),” Tether tweeted. “It’s unclear if this is a basic extortion scheme, like those against other cryptocurrency companies, or a desire to undermine Tether and the entire crypto community.” Either way, those trying to hurt Tether will be increasingly desperate.”
“We want our customers, people and the crypto community to stay safe. Always be vigilant and practice good operational security. While we consider this a frustrating attempt, we take it seriously. We have reported it to law enforcement Fake communications and associated ransom demands. As always, we fully support law enforcement investigations of this extortion method,” Tether revealed in a Twitter post.
At present, while it is impossible to determine whether the documents released by the hackers are genuine, Tether has been controversial for the past few years.
Tether’s USDT cryptocurrency, known as a stablecoin, is pegged 1:1 to the U.S. dollar.
In 2018, the New York Attorney General’s Office opened an investigation into Tether’s allegations that USDT was backed by U.S. dollars and hundreds of millions of dollars were flowing between the Bitfinex exchange, which is owned by iFinex.
On Tuesday, Tether and the New York Attorney General’s Office settled the lawsuit, with neither admitting wrongdoing.