'Robin Hood' Hackers Donate Stolen Money to Charity

The hacker group stole large sums of money from several corporations via ransomware attacks.
Chris Young

A mysterious group of hackers, known as Darkside hackers, has donated money to two charities that the group stole from large corporations via a ransomware attack.

The hackers shared a blog post on the untraceable dark web saying they want to "make the world a better place."

Robin Hood comparisons have unsurprisingly surfaced online, though one of the charities, at least, says it will not be accepting the stolen money.


'Robin Hood' hackers

In their dark web post, the Darkside hacker group posted receipts for $10,000 in Bitcoin donations to two charities: Children International and The Water Project.

As per the BBC, Children International has announced that it will not be keeping the money.

In the blog post, shared on October 13, the hacker group claimed to only target large profitable corporations with its ransomware attacks.

"We think that it's fair that some of the money the companies have paid will go to charity," the hackers wrote.

"No matter how bad you think our work is, we are pleased to know that we helped change someone's life. Today we sent [sic] the first donations," they continued.

Ransomware attacks hold a person's or an organization's IT systems hostage until a ransom is paid. Non-payment usually results in the deletion of important files and assets by the attackers.

The hackers posted images of tax receipts that they received in exchange for their donations to Children International and The Water Project.

'No intention of keeping' ransomware money

"If the donation is linked to a hacker, we have no intention of keeping it," a Children International spokesperson told the BBC. " 

The Water Project, which worked to improve clean water access in sub-Saharan Africa, has not yet responded to the allegations.

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The hackers used a US-based service called The Giving Block, which helps users to take advantage of the tax incentive of donating with Bitcoin, to make its donation.

The Giving Block said it is "still working to determine if these funds were actually stolen. If it turns out these donations were made using stolen funds, we will of course begin the work of returning them to the rightful owner."

It is unclear whether that would mean returning the money to the hackers, or whether The Giving Block will give that money back to one of the victims of the Darkside hacker's ransomware attacks

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