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Hacking victim becomes attacker when $20,000 bounty turns hacker into a crybaby

Zach Epstein
May 29th, 2014 at 11:05 AM
Roger Ver Hacker

Hackers, beware: Choosing the wrong victim can have severe consequences. And Roger Ver, also referred to as “The Bitcoin Jesus,” is the wrong victim.

Last week, a hacker called “Nitrous” contacted Ver to inform him that his Hotmail account had been compromised. By breaching the account, the hacker was able to obtain Ver’s Social Security number, his passport number, his mother’s Social Security number and other sensitive information.

As Wired reported, this would end up being one of the biggest mistakes Nitrous has ever made.

“I am the one that hacked into your emails… I just want to speak,” Nitrous told Ver in a Skype chat. “I will return all the stuff I stole from you… I can do a lot more, just wanted your attention sir.”

But Nitrous wanted more than just Ver’s attention. He demanded $20,000 in bitcoins for the safe return of all of Ver’s private data. If Ver refused to pay up, the hacker said he would sell the information to “fraudsters” who would ruin Ver’s life and his mother’s life as well.


Ver refused to pay. And he did much more than call the hacker’s bluff — he completely turned the tables and went from victim to attacker.

The Bitcoin Jesus took to his Facebook and Twitter accounts and offered his thousands of followers a $20,000 reward for “information leading to the arrest of the hacker who is trying to access all my stuff at the moment.”

Nitrous panicked.

“Sir, I am sincerely sorry I am just a middleman I was being told what to tell you,” the hacker wrote in a message to Ver. “Please stop I am so sorry I told him that you are now going to have me killed over something he made me do I didn’t even do this it was someone else.”

Wired reports that within minutes of seeing that the bounty was offered, Nitrous relinquished control of Ver’s Hotmail account and has not caused any trouble since then.

Sweet, sweet justice.

Zach Epstein

Zach Epstein has worked in and around ICT for more than 15 years, first in marketing and business development with two private telcos, then as a writer and editor covering business news, consumer electronics and telecommunications. Zach’s work has been quoted by countless top news publications in the US and around the world. He was also recently named one of the world's top-10 “power mobile influencers” by Forbes, as well as one of Inc. Magazine's top-30 Internet of Things experts.

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