Hackers have broken into football star Alexander Kerzhakov’s e-mail account and are looking to sell 904 letters from the player’s correspondence for at least 40 bitcoins (about US$9,000) during a “private auction” today.
Alexander Kerzhakov won the UEFA Cup champion with Spanish Seville in 2006/2007. He is the leading scorer in Russian football (224 goals) and currently plays for FC Zenit St. Petersburg.
It appears that the hackers have stolen 5 years worth of correspondence (from Sept 2010 - Sept 2015) that includes 904 emails. They sent out a letter to certain people informing them of the auction on behalf of the organizer, the "Exchange of Information" administration. Moreover, they promised to sell the emails separately on their official website to anyone if no buyers appear at the auction, though the cost will be much higher.
However, the cyber criminals’ didn’t seem to faze one of the recipients and Footballers Media Director, Elena Bolotova, who commented:
"The e-mail belonging to Alexander was actually hacked but I want to note that this is not a personal mailbox. This is a corporate email,” she said, continuing:
“If someone wants to check this information, we will provide passwords to anyone. The amount of money asked by the hackers suits us and we will do it with pleasure if they even transfer half of the money to a charity of Alexander Kerzhakov Stars for children. Let's help the children and not fraudsters."
This is not the first time that a Russian business stood up to bitcoin-seeking cyber criminals. Back in July, Cointelegraph reported how hackers managed to steal information of over 300,000 Bank Saint Petersburg clients and then attempting to sell it for US$500,000 in bitcoin. But in similar fashion, the bank brushed off these threats calling the matter a “distraction” and reassured that the stolen data is “not critical for clients and cannot be used to carry out fraudulent operations.”