Computer hackers have compromised the digital files of a prominent law firm and are threatening to release what they call President Donald Trump’s “dirty laundry” if they aren’t paid a ransom of $42 million, according to The New York Post:
“Hacking group REvil got into his firm’s server and stole 756 gigabytes of confidential documents, including contracts and personal emails from a host of Hollywood and music stars. They also deleted or encrypted the firm’s backups. The only way they can be decrypted is to pay the criminals for a key.”
Grubman is considered to be the preeminent entertainment attorney in the world, with a list of clients that includes Lady Gaga, Madonna, Mariah Carey, U2, and Bruce Springsteen.
Grubman says he will refuse to pay the ransom, with a source noting:
“His view is, if he paid, the hackers might release the documents anyway. Plus the FBI has stated this hack is considered an act of international terrorism, and we don’t negotiate with terrorists.”
The hackers initially demanded $21 million, but doubled the amount on Thursday, posting this threatening 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.
“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.”
Experts in the field of computer security say any company or firm that is hacked and asked for ransom have little to no good options. Brett Callow of Emsisoft remarked:
“Companies in this situation have no good options available … Even if they pay the ransom demand, there is no guarantee the criminals will destroy the stolen data if it has a high market value. The data may still be sold or traded … In these cases, it’s possible that the criminals will attempt to extort money directly from the people whose information was exposed.”
Looks like we might be getting the proverbial “October surprise” in May. Time will tell.