Law Firm Representing Priyanka, Facebook Hacked For Rs 317-Cr Ransom

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NEW DELHI: After hacking a New York-based celebrity and entertainment law firm Grubman Shire Meiselas & Sacks, hackers have demanded a ransom of $42 million (about Rs. 317 crores) threatening to dislose clients personal details online if the amount is not paid within a week's deadline. The hacking group behind the attack is “REvil” a.k.a. “Sodinokibi”, according to cybersecurity firm Emsisoft.

The group alleges to have information on the likes of celebrities Priyanka Chopra Jonas, Lady Gaga, Madonna, Nicki Minaj, Bruce Springsteen, Jessica Simpson, Idina Menzel, Christina Aguilera, Mariah Carey, Mary J. Blige, Ella Mai, Cam Newton, Bette Midler, Run DMC, and social media giant Facebook.

It was on May 8, that the hackers group had posted evidence of the stolen data showing a screenshot of Madonna's contract for the 2019-20 “Madame X” tour on dark web. The data size was allegedly 756 GB and included personal details. On May 11, Grubman Shire Meiselas & Sacks confirmed that it had suffered a breach and informed its staff and clients. On May 12, the hackers demanded a $21 million ransom.

But the law firm refused to negotiate as the FBI was investigating the case. The hackers, then, threatened to publish data in installments which happened. On May 13, they allegedly tried to share 1GB of files to cloud storage service Mega. But, Mega terminated their account due to breach of terms of service.

On May 14, the hackers doubled their amount to $42 million claiming they have “a ton of dirty laundry” on US President Donald Trump and threatened to publish in a week if payment wasn't made. However, Trump has never been the firm's client.

It was just in April that UK-based currency exchange Travelex paid $2.3 million (about Rs. 17.35 crores) in bitcoin to hackers who had taken over its network, according to a daily.

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