Ransomware operator group REvil has threatened to release sensitive political documents of US President Donald Trump unless they get ransom money worth $42m. The ransomware operators have given a one-week deadline to meet the demand. REvil grabbed the headlines after hacking the American celebrity law firm Grubman Shire Meiselas & Sacks earlier this week.
The Celebrity Data Leak
After the hack, the operators had released a few sensitive documents related to some celebrities like Madonna and Christina Aguilera. The leaked documents were found legitimate on verification. Though Grubman Shire Meiselas & Sacks has numerous Hollywood stars, TV celebrities and sports persona as clients, it is still not clear how Trump drops into the picture.
The Veiled Threat
The ransomware operators have released a veiled threat which mentions that after releasing the first installment of leaks connected to the celebrities, they are all set to unleash "a ton of dirty laundry" of Trump.
REvil has reportedly claimed that after the leak about Trump comes out, US citizens won't be interested to see him back as the president. "Mr Trump, if you want to stay president, poke a sharp stick at the guys; otherwise you may forget this ambition forever," they added.
However, the hacker group has not offered any shred of evidence to back their claim. The attackers' claim also sounds hollow because Trump has never been a client of Grubman Shire Meiselas & Sacks. A spokesperson of the law firm has also confirmed to NBC News that Trump "is not a client and has never been".
GSMS Ransomware Attack
REvil aka Sodinokibi had published a message addressing the GSMS authorities on a dark web-based site. The message claimed to have compromised sensitive data of its celebrity clients. The actors claimed that they had made a copy of 756 GB of data of celebrities. The list mentioned the names of Madonna, Facebook, Elton John, Barbra Streisand, Lady Gaga and others. They also released a few screenshots claiming they have data of Mariah Carey, Nicki Minaj, Bruce Springsteen, Bette Midler, U2, Outkast, Jessica Simpson, Cam Newton, and more.
The Sodinokibi ransomware operators demanded a ransom of $21m in the beginning but doubled the demand after GSMS reportedly offered a sum of $3,65,000.
A Grubman spokesperson told Page Six that GSMS is not ready to pay a single penny to the cyber terrorists. He mentioned that the attackers may leak some secret celebrity deals such as U2's publishing deal with Universal worth $300m, Diddy's undisclosed amount of deal for Ciroc Vodka endorsement and Bruce Springsteen's Netflix deal worth $20m.