NYPOST: Law Firm Hackers Threatens to Expose Trump’s “Dirty Laundry”
Recently, a prominent Hollywood law firm, Grubman Shire Meiselas & Sacks website, had been under attack by a cyber hacking group REvil. The group demanded the firm to pay a whopping $42 million ransom in exchange for not exposing President Donald Trump’s alleged “dirty laundry.”
The law firm was headed by A-list lawyer, attorney Allen Grubman, whose client list includes Lady Gaga, Barbara Streisand, Madonna, Elton John, and Bette Midler. Initially, the hackers demanded $21 million and threatened to reveal personal details from the company’s clients.
All in all, the hackers were able to obtain 756 gigabytes of data, which includes client contracts and even personal emails. To reinforce their authority, the group had even released a screenshot of Madonna’s contract.
However, REvil eventually doubled their asking price into $42 million, threatening to reveal not just personal information, but AS well as breaching national security. In fact, the hackers claimed that if the payment had not been made within a week, the group would release the US president’s “dirty laundry.”
On Thursday, the group posted a message “The ransom is now [doubled to] $42,000,000…The next person we’ll be publishing is Donald Trump. There’s an election going on, and we found a ton of dirty laundry on time.” The group warned that the President has “forgotten this ambition forever” if the payment has not been made. The group also threatened that they would destroy the firm “down to the ground” if they failed to provide the money.
The hackers had already deleted the entire firm’s backups, and the only way for the firm to retrieve its files is to pay the hackers in exchange for a key to decrypt it. However, Grubman refuses to negotiate with the criminals. The attorney believed that even if the ransom had been made, there is still no security or guarantee that the hackers will not release the classified documents.
Moreover, the FBI had also advised that the breach in cybersecurity is in itself an act of terrorism, “we don’t negotiate with terrorists,” the federal agents assured. The hacker’s threat seemed questionable, specifically since Trump was not Grubman’s client, either in his business transactions or in his administration.
The cyber hacking group also claimed that they have successfully hacked another US law firm, and posted a file of a document entitled “Lady Gaga.”
An analyst from the cybersecurity software Emsisoft Brett Callow explained that paying the ransom or giving in to the hacker’s demand will not guarantee that the hackers will destroy or the stolen data, specifically if it has a high market value. In fact, Callow believed that the criminals might even keep the data, or replicate it, and try to extort more money from the people whose information was included in their list.
The law firm also released an official statement, admitting that they have been indeed a victim of a cyber attack. The firm had also warned their client and staff about the security breach and is currently working with the world’s best experts to help catch the criminals. The firm concluded that in an attack of such scale, the country’s election, government, and even individual personal information are at risk, adding that law firms are not immune to such “malicious activity,” despite their best efforts to invest in cybersecurity.