It was an ordinary October day when startled employees of a Canadian insurance firm discovered their computer files locked and a digital ransom note left by hackers.
“Hello, your network was hacked and encrypted. No free decryption software is available on the web. Email us to get the ransom amount.”
After some negotiation, with the help of a British cyber insurance firm, the criminals settled on a payment of $950,000 (£747,000) in Bitcoin to unlock the files. The Canadian company was left with little choice but to pay up. Fifteen days later, the files were released.
This sequence of events was described in a private High Court hearing in December which was unsealed in January.
The businesses involved chose to remain anonymous to avoid tipping off the hackers of their attempt to use the courts to get their ransom money back from a cryptocurrency exchange.
It may seem like a