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'Robin Hood hacker' donates Bitcoins to Kurds fighting IS

Watch now: Bitcoins are a technically sophisticated virtual currency used for its anonymity [Getty]

Date of publication: 20 May, 2016

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Video: A "Robin Hood" hacker has made a large donation of funds believed to have been stolen from banks to Kurds in northern Syria fighting the Islamic State group.
A notorious hacker has donated $11,000 worth of Bitcoins believed to have been stolen from banks to Kurds in northern Syria to help them challenge the Islamic state group.


The cyber-vigilante goes by many pseudonyms, including "Phineas Phisher", gave the donation to the autonomous Kurdish region of Rojava in northern Syria, which borders land held by IS, because it was an "inspiring revolutionary project".

Phisher gave the Bitcoins - a technically sophisticated virtual currency used for its anonymity - to an ongoing crowdfunding page supporting the Kurdish region.

"The money did come from robbing a bank… bank robbing is more viable than ever, it's just done differently these days," the hacker claimed on the Reddit network.

The anonymous hacker also told media that Rojava should expect to receive a donation "a few orders of magnitude" larger, soon, declining to name the bank that fell victim to their online heist.

Rojava's campaign is aimed at raising funds to grow fertiliser for farmers cut off from supplies because of the Syrian war and embargos.

     
      Rojava borders land held by IS [Getty]

"Rojava's territory in Northern Syria extends from Turkey in the north and Iraq's Kurdistan Region in the east, in the south and west it is limited by the frontline with [IS]," Rojava's economic committee said.

"This year, the harvest will probably be even less. Amidst renewed attacks from [IS] and other jihadist groups, Rojava's people are facing a great famine," it added.

In 2015, Phisher also reportedly hacked Hacking Team, a controversial firm that sells spying tools to governments, exposing more than 400GB of highly sensitive data about clients and operations.

The hacker has been hailed online as a modern-age "Robin Hood" for his charitable actions, and has encouraged others to rob banks to donate to good causes.

Last month, an Algerian hacker who is said to have donated millions of dollars to Palestinian charities was sentenced to 15 years in jail in the US.

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