Bank Saint-Petersburg in Saint-Petersburg, Russia, decided not to pay 1,636 bitcoins to the hackers, who stole confidential information from the bank database. Police is investigating the case.

According to the Fontanka newspaper, the hackers stole details of up to 300,000 bank accounts and threatened to publish the data on a special website.

On 20 July, they demanded 29 million rubles ($482,000) as a ransom and wanted the bank to pay the lump sum in bitcoins (that would be 1,636 BTC). Bank Saint Petersburg refused to pay the ransom. Now the bank says that “the theft” happened under police control.

This spring, security officers in the Russian bank noted suspicious activity in one of the databases. The board of directors contacted the anti-hacker division of Saint Petersburg police and began to monitor the situation closely, says Fontanka.

Under the surveillance of IT experts and police officers, the hackers managed to extract data for 300,000 accounts from the bank computers. The bank representatives now state that only 20% of these accounts were active. 

“They got personal names, family names and account numbers,” said an anonymous representative of the bank. This means, that the hackers won’t be able to use this data to get the money from all these accounts.

The bank executives were expecting to receive the ransom letter, which finally came on 20 July. They declined the offer and contacted the special division of the local police again, says Fontanka.

The police officers are searching for the hackers, says the article. Despite all their efforts nobody was arrested or apprehended.
Bank Saint Petersburg is one of the leading banks in Saint Petersburg region. It is in the top 30 of Russian banks. According to Moody’s the rating of the bank is “B1”.