On October 31st Anne-Elisabeth Falkevik Hagen, wife of Norwegian businessman Tom Hagen, disappeared without a trace. The case has been kept secret until now, when it has been learned that after two months there are hardly any clues about the case, although there is a unique ransom request.
It is because the kidnappers have not given proof of the victim’s life, but above all because They ask for almost 9 million euros in the form of the cryptocurrency Monero, a virtual currency that stands out for its strong anonymity and privacy protection. Not for nothing has it become a benchmark for those who carry out malware attacks (for example through cryptojacking techniques) and ransomware.
Hijackers Protect Your Anonymity With Cryptocurrency Payments
Sources close to the police investigation reveal that a written note was found at the Hagen house demanding the payment of 85.9 million Norwegian crowns, about 8.8 million euros, but with a very high form of payment. special: a transfer should be made in the cryptocurrency Monero, which differs from others by its absolute focus on privacy and anonymity.
Tom Hagen is a Norwegian billionaire with a fortune valued at 174 million euros. His 68-year-old wife was apparently abducted from a house in Lørenskog, northeast of Oslo. The police had kept the case secret at the request of the hijackers, but they have decided to make it public to try to find new clues.
Monero, the untraceable cryptocurrency
Although Monero has similarities with other cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin, its great advantage is in the fact that online transactions are not traceable and the anonymity and privacy of users is protected.
Monero’s design means that this cryptocurrency has inherent characteristics that avoid knowing what amounts are transferred and to whomAll of these transactions are encrypted and untraceable, which has made it a protagonist in requests for money for ransomware cases.
Not only that: cryptojacking apps that mine cryptocurrencies On our mobiles or our computers, without our knowing it, they usually do it in this cryptocurrency precisely to prevent these operations from being traced.
There were very famous cases such as The Pirate Bay or Showtime, and soon the alarm was activated before a practice that tries to exploit the resources of our computers with those “miners” working in the background even when we close the browser.
By mid-2018 it was estimated that they had been mined $ 108 million using malware, which sparked new efforts by extension developers and browsers themselves, some of which – such as Firefox, Opera The Chrome– have helped mitigate the problem, but there are also various extensions for these browsers that help prevent malware from kicking in, and it doesn’t hurt pass a short test (developed by Opera) to our browser to see if it is exposed.
More information | VG (Norwegian)
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Why the cryptocurrency Monero has become the protagonist of one of the most notorious kidnappings in recent times