Crypto Trading Firm Kronos Research Negotiates With Hacker Over $26M Theft, Offering $2.5M Bounty

Crypto Trading Firm Kronos Research Negotiates With Hacker Over $26M Theft, Offering $2.5M Bounty

Published Tuesday 28th November 2023

Crypto trading firm Kronos Research was the target of a major hack in mid-November, resulting in the theft of $25 million. In an interesting turn of events, the firm has taken the unusual step of entering negotiations with the hacker in an attempt to recover the stolen funds. As part of this negotiation, Kronos Research has publicly offered a 10% cut of the stolen funds, amounting to $2.5 million, as a bounty for the hacker. This move highlights a growing trend in the crypto industry, where companies are opting to strike deals with cyberthieves in an effort to recoup losses.

Kronos Research, based in Taiwan, was the victim of a cyberattack that resulted in the theft of a significant amount of money. Instead of resorting to legal action or relying on law enforcement to recover the stolen funds, the company has chosen to engage in discussions with the hacker. The negotiation involves offering a 10% bounty, or reward, to the hacker in exchange for the return of 90% of the stolen funds. The hope is that this offer will incentivize the hacker to return most of the money, ultimately limiting the financial impact on the company.

This strategy of negotiating with hackers represents a shift in the approach of companies targeted by cyberattacks. Instead of solely focusing on punitive measures or taking legal action, companies are now exploring the possibility of striking deals with cyberthieves. This trend is particularly prevalent in the crypto industry, where the anonymous nature of transactions and the decentralized nature of cryptocurrencies make it difficult to trace and recover stolen funds. Companies like Kronos Research are recognizing that negotiating with hackers may be a more pragmatic solution than relying on traditional legal avenues.

By offering a bounty to the hacker, Kronos Research is attempting to reach a mutually beneficial agreement that can potentially lead to the recovery of a significant portion of the stolen funds. While this approach may raise ethical concerns, it is seen as a practical response to the challenges posed by cyberattacks in the crypto industry. The company is essentially acknowledging the difficulty of tracking down and prosecuting cybercriminals in this space and is instead choosing to focus on minimizing its losses and recovering as much as possible.

It is important to note that negotiating with hackers does not guarantee a successful outcome. There is always a risk that the hacker may not honor the agreement or may demand additional concessions. However, for companies like Kronos Research, this approach may be viewed as a calculated risk worth taking, considering the potential financial benefits of recovering a significant portion of the stolen funds.

The decision by Kronos Research to negotiate with the hacker reflects a larger trend in the crypto industry. As the industry continues to grow and attract more attention, it is becoming a lucrative target for cybercriminals. In response, companies are adapting their strategies and exploring alternative methods to recover stolen funds. While negotiating with hackers may not be a foolproof solution, it is indicative of a shift in mindset and a recognition that traditional approaches may not be sufficient in the ever-evolving landscape of cybersecurity.

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