A New York law firm was hacked by a group of people calling themselves REvil, and they say they’ve unearthed a wealth of compromising information on President Donald Trump that they’re willing to release unless they’re paid $42 million by the firm they stole the data from.
According to a report from Page Six, attorney Allen Grubman, who represents Madonna, Lady Gaga, Mariah Carey, Bruce Springsteen, Bette Midler, U2, Nicki Minaj, Drake, and Priyanka Chopra, was hacked recently. The group obtained access to the law firm’s servers and obtained 756 gigabytes of data containing confidential information.
Until late last night, the group was demanding $21 million or they would release details about Grubman’s celebrity clients. But on Thursday night, the hackers claimed that they’d discovered information about Trump in the documents that could be damaging to him, and doubled their demand.
They also called on Trump to intervene or risk having his information revealed as well.
“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 Shire Meiselas & Sacks confirmed the attack and demand in a statement, but the firm doesn’t appear to be willing to negotiate with the hackers. They called the attack a “despicable and illegal” attack and said that numerous companies these days are facing cyberterrorism, including HBO, Goldman Sachs, and even the United States Department of Defense.
Paying the ransom is illegal, the law firm says, and likely wouldn’t result in the information staying private.
“We have been informed by the experts and the FBI that negotiating with or paying a ransom to terrorists is a violation of federal criminal law,” they said.
They added that many times even after people have paid ransoms, the hacked material is still leaked.
“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.”
One analyst told Page Six that companies who are hacked are in a lose-lose situation. If they pay the ransom, the data may not be destroyed and the hackers may return to demand more money.
Trump, who is facing criticism for his handling of the coronavirus pandemic, hasn’t commented on the matter as of the time of reporting.