Dutch Court Sentences CoinVault And BitCryptor Ransomware Creators To Community Service
A Dutch court has recently sentenced Melvin and Dennis van de B., the developers behind CoinVault and BitCryptor, a ransomware that attacked 1,259 computers in the Netherlands and in other Western European countries.
The ransomware demanded Bitcoin payments to fix the issues that it caused to computers. The two made about 10,000 EUR from 2014 to 2015. At the time, the two demanded 1 BTC to free the computers of the victims. 1 BTC was already equal to several hundred EUR at the time, but it did not have all the value that it has today. Almost a hundred victims paid the fees.
After the news spread more around Europe, Kaspersky Lab tipped the Dutch police on the name of the hackers. The firm analyzed the software and had found a breach that identified one of the suspects by their first name. Also, it released around 14,000 decryption keys for the victims of the attack to get their data back. The investigation took some time, but they were caught.
During the trial, both men told the court that they were only experimenting and challenging their own technical skills. However, the judges noted that the brothers always asked for money in all the cases.
According to the judges, why would they ask for money when people were only asking to be returned of files related to their deceased parents, for instance? The result is that the two were recently sentenced to 240 hours of community service to pay for their crimes.
Victims Demand Retribution
Some of the people who were victimized by the ransomware demanded their Bitcoin back, the media reported. While the Public Prosecution Service had demanded a suspended prison of one year in jail, the brothers had on their favor the fact that they did not commit any crime recently and that they never did before releasing the ransomware.
At the moment, there is no information that can lead us to believe that the people who lost their money will ever receive their Bitcoins again, unfortunately.