USDT cryptocurrency developer Tether has said they are being extorted by threat actors who are demanding 500 bitcoins, or approximately $24 million, not to leak allegedly stolen emails and documents.
This past week, Twitter accounts going by the names of ‘Deltecleaks’ and ‘TetherLeaks’ began publishing screenshots of an allegedly stolen trove of documents and emails regarding Tether and one of its banking partners Deltec Bank.
While Tether has stated that the documents circulating online are forged, they revealed yesterday that they received a ransom note demanding 500 bitcoins or this alleged data dump will be publicly released online.
“Today we also received a ransom demand for 500 BTC to be sent to bc1qa9f60pved3w3w0p7snpxlnh5t4uj95vxn797a7. The sender said that, unless they receive the BTC by tomorrow, they will leak documents to the public in an effort to “harm the bitcoin ecosystem.” We are not paying.”
“It is unclear whether this is a basic extortion scheme like those directed at other crypto companies or people looking to undermine Tether and the crypto community as a whole. Either way, those seeking to harm Tether are getting increasingly desperate.”
“We want our customers, personnel, and the crypto community to stay safe. Please always be vigilant and practice good operational security.”
“While we believe this is a pretty sad attempt at a shakedown, we take it seriously. We have reported the forged communications and the associated ransom demand to law enforcement. As always, we will fully support law enforcement in an investigation of this extortion scheme,” Tether disclosed in a Twitter thread.
While it is unknown if these documents are legitimate, Tether has its share of controversy over the past few years.
Tether’s USDT cryptocurrency is known as a StableCoin, which are supposed to be backed on a 1:1 basis with the US dollar.
In 2018, the New York Attorney General’s office began investigating Tether regardings its claim that the US dollar backed their coin and for its movement of hundreds of millions between the iFinex-owned Bitfinex exchange.