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Extortion in the Digital Age

By Jordan Robertson - 2012-09-07T22:30:48Z

Photograph by Steve Hix/Somos Images/Corbis

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Hackers Demand 'Idiot Tax'

In May, hackers tried to extort 150,000 euros from Belfius Bank in Belgium by threatening to release customer data they stole from a subsidiary. The hackers posted a statement online calling the payment an "idiot tax" for the company's failure to properly secure its website. The bank said up to 3,700 people who applied for mortgages and credit through its Elantis division may have been affected, according to ZDNet. The bank said it refused to pay and the deadline passed apparently without incident. However, with many of these ransom attempts, the information could have quietly been sold on the black market.