Cyber hackers claim to have broken into computers at an A-list legal firm, where they say they gathered information on a slew of celebrities — and President Trump.
The group, which calls itself REvil, is demanding $42 million in ransom.
The hackers are threatening to publish “a ton of dirty laundry” on Trump, even though he’s never been a client of the New York City law firm Grubman, Shire, Meiselas and Sacks. The cyber-theft from the law firm reportedly involved 756 gigabytes of sensitive information.
On Thursday, the hackers issued a new 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 him.”
They added, “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. Grubman, we will destroy your company down to the ground if we don’t see the money.”
The law firm is refusing to pay, Fox News reported, which said “a trove of details of some of the biggest deals in showbiz history, including Bruce Springsteen’s Netflix deal and Sean ‘Diddy’ Combs’ rumored $100 million vodka deal, will be laid bare on the internet.”
The firm’s clients include Lady Gaga, Madonna, Mariah Carey, Priyanka Chopra and Bette Midler.
A source with knowledge of the hack told the New York Post, “Grubman isn’t going to pay these cyber-terrorists a penny, so it is likely all his files will end up released by the hackers. The interesting details in there could include U2’s lucrative publishing deals with Universal, worth an estimated $300 million, as well as Springsteen’s deal with Netflix, estimated to be worth $20 million, as well as how much Diddy actually made in that Ciroc vodka deal.”
The source added, “Often, the most damaging details are in the personal emails of the stars and the executives — which is what happened with the 2014 Sony hack. But it is not known how many personal emails have been stolen from the Grubman hackers.” The hackers have not specifically threatened to reveal details on these stars nor these specific deals.
The U.S. Secret Service and the FBI are investigating REvil.
In a statement to The Post, the law firm said: “Despite our substantial investment in state-of-the-art technology security, foreign cyberterrorists have hacked into our network and are demanding $42 million as ransom. We are working directly with federal law enforcement and continue to work around the clock with the world’s leading experts to address this situation.”
“The leaking of our clients’ documents is a despicable and illegal attack by these foreign cyberterrorists who make their living attempting to extort high-profile U.S. companies, government entities, entertainers, politicians, and others. Previously, the United States Department of Defense, HBO, Goldman Sachs, as well as numerous state and local governments, have been victims of similar cybercriminal attacks.
“We have been informed by the experts and the FBI that negotiating with or paying ransom to terrorists is a violation of federal criminal law. Even when enormous ransoms have been paid, the criminals often leak the documents anyway,” the law firm said.
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