The REvil ransomware group that targeted A-grade celebrities last week is now demanding a ransom of $42 million from President Donald Trump otherwise, they’ll air his “dirty laundry”. The group hacked the database of the popular law firm Grubman Shire Meiselas & Sacks that handles some of the biggest Hollywood stars including Madonna, Elton John, and Robert DeNiro.
The ransomware group has grabbed hold of a large trove of data estimated to be around 756GB containing confidential contracts, email addresses, non-disclosure contracts, and correspondences.
Hackers were demanding $21 million until 14th May but the New York-based law firm refused to pay after which they doubled the ransom amount to $42 million and threatened to release confidential data of President Donald Trump.
“The ransom is now $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.”
Threatening the president, the ransom note read, “Mr. Trump, if you want to stay president, poke a sharp stick at the guys, otherwise you may forget this ambition forever. And to you voters, we can let you know that after such a publication, you certainly don’t want to see him as president … The deadline is one week.”
They have demanded the ransom in Monero cryptocurrency but said Bitcoin would also work if paid a higher amount.
It is still unclear how the ransomware operators managed to get hold of Trump’s confidential data as he has never been a client of the law firm.
The affected firm says there are chances that hackers will release the data even if the ransom is paid. The Federal Bureau of Investigation considers hacking as an act of terrorism. Moreover, negotiating or paying a ransom is a violation of federal criminal laws.
We’ll have to wait and see how the events unfold in this case.