Hacktivist Phineas Fisher is willing to pay money to anyone capable of carrying out his agenda.
Fisher: I’m Doing This to Benefit Society
While that is not his real name, Fisher is a man involved in hacktivist activities, and he’s offering a sum of roughly $100,000 in BTC funds to anyone willing to team up with him and carry out various hacks on big corporations as part of a “Hacktivist Bug Hunting Program.” Those who agree are required to leak important information to the public that large companies may be holding onto.
According to one source, Fisher has two subjects in mind: the oil company Halliburton in the United States, and the Israeli spyware company NSO Group. He’s willing to pay as much as $100,000 in BTC or Monero – a cryptocurrency widely revered by hackers for its quasi-anonymous properties – to anyone capable of stealing information from either venture.
Hacking to obtain and leak documents with public interest is one of the best ways for a hacker to use their abilities to benefit society. I’m not trying to make anyone rich; I’m just trying to provide enough funds so that hackers can make a decent living doing a good job.
Fisher says that hackers should only use their skills to better society. However, thus far he has targeted several political entities including the Turkish ruling party from 2014 through 2016. He has also targeted a Spanish police union, a British-German surveillance group and the Italy-based Hacking Team.
In addition, he also managed to gain access to an offshore banking institution on the Isle of Man known as the Cayman Bank and Trust Company. It’s likely none of the targeted companies feel that the skills have been used “wisely” or to benefit public interest.
That said, Fisher defends his actions, commenting that he’s merely looking to battle “inequality.” He states:
The global financial elite are oppressors, not victims… Hacking that elite and returning the tiniest fraction of the wealth that they’ve stolen doesn’t make them victims. It is cybercrime. It is also activism. It is motivated by a desire for social change. I’m not personally profiting or benefiting from it.
Crypto and Hacking Seem to Go Hand in Hand
Hacking has become a serious problem in the cryptocurrency world as of late. The company Cryptopia in New Zealand revealed in January of this year that it had been the victim of a cyberattack that ultimately saw hundreds of thousands of dollars in crypto funds disappear overnight. Several other exchanges – i.e. Mt. Gox, Coincheck, etc. – have also been victimized, resulting in billions of dollars in digital funds stolen.
Hackers are also known to request bitcoin or cryptocurrency ransoms, as in the recent case of Johannesburg, South Africa falling under the control of cyberthieves looking for BTC funds in exchange for unlocked computer systems.