$4.9 Million: Ransomware Hits Mexico’s State-Owned Oil Firm to Demand 565 BTC

Mexico’s state-owned oil company Pemex has been hit by a ransomware attack that’s seen extortionists demand 565 BTC (around $4.9 million) to decrypt its files.

The attack has reportedly forced Pemex (Petróleos Mexicanos) to halt critical operations and to disconnect 5% of its network from the internet. Workers, according to Bloomberg, reported internal memos initially told them not to turn on their computers, although they were turned on later on.

On Twitter, Pemex posted a statement claiming its operations aren’t being disrupted, although some replied claiming systems are down and causing disruptions:

According to Bleeping Computer Pemex wasn’t affected, as initially thought, by the Ryuk ransomware, but by a DoppelPaymer infection, which is a fork of the BitPaymer infected that earlier this month infected Spain’s largest radio network.

In leaked ransom notes and on the Tor payment site, the ransomware extortionists reportedly ask Pemex for a total of 565 bitcoin (around $4.94 million) to give them a way to decrypt its files and stop the attack. The payment site explains the price is set according to “network size, number of employees, annual revenue.”

The attackers also give the victim a chance to negotiate with them a different amount, either via email or via an online chat function available on the website. Bleeping Computer reports the online chat on the payment site is empty, which means Pemex didn’t attempt to negotiate the ransom.

Featured image by Dmitry Demidko on Unsplash.

Kanye Says He Wants to Run for President, Bitcoin Fan Elon Musk Endorses Him

Siamak Masnavi

American rapper, singer, songwriter, record producer, composer, entrepreneur and fashion designer Kanye West celebrated July 4, U.S. Independence Day, by announcing his intention to run for U.S. president in 2020.

So how did Kanye launch his bid to be on the ballot at the 2020 United States Presidential Election, which is scheduled for 3 November 2020?

Well, late on Saturday afternoon (California team), Kanye sent out the following tweet:

Minutes later, came this endorsement from Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk, who has often expressed his interest in cryptocurrency in general and Bitcoin in particular:

Not wanting to be left out of the conversation, a couple of hours, American media personality, businesswoman, socialite, model, musician, and actress Paris Hilton made it clear that she would not mind being U.S. president either:

As FOX News reported a short time ago, this is not the first time that Kanye has expressed his intention to become U.S. president.

Apparently, back in November 2019, at the fifth annual Fast Company Innovation Festival in New York City, he said that he planned to run for U.S. president in 2024:

"When I run for president in 2024, we're going to definitely -- yo, whatchu [sic] all laughing at? When I run for president in 2024, we would've created so many jobs that, in fact, I'm going to walk...

"What I'm saying is, when y'all read the headlines, 'Kanye's crazy,' this and that, this and that, it's like one in three African-Americans are in jail and all of the celebrities are in jail also because they can't say nothing [sic]! They've got no opinion! They're so scared!"

According to the U.S. Constitution, here are the requirements for presidential candidates:

  • be a natural-born U.S. citiizen
  • be at least 35 years old
  • be a U.S. resident for at least 14 years

Since Kanye meets all these requirements, he is allowed to declare his candidacy for president. After he has raised or spent more than $5,000 for his campaign, he must register with the Federal Election Commission.

In May 2018, Kanye talked about Bitcoin during an interview with American radio presenter "Charlamagne tha God". 

He said:

"When you're acting in love, you're like a drop of water and you have the ocean as your army. When you act in fear, it's just you and your money.

"Now you can take your money and put it in Bitcoin, put it in credit form, put it in cash... and then stand up to the ocean and who's gonna win? 

"We definitely are dealing with racism but I want to push future concepts, you know.

"Now I'm doing I'm giving you two streams of consciousness in one. I want to talk about my wife. I also want to talk about Harriet Tubman on the twenty dollar bill... That's the moment I wanted to use Bitcoin."