The cyberattack on New York celebrity law firm Grubman, Shire, Meiselas and Sacks (GSMS) is getting murkier after the perpetrators upped their demands.
The gang behind the Sodinokibi attack have now doubled the ransom demand to $42 million. Furthermore, they claim to possess compromising information on President Trump and said have threatened to reveal it if the money wasn’t paid.
In a statement seen by entertainment news website Page Six, a gang calling themselves Gold Southfield said they had accessed “a ton of dirty laundry” on Trump and have now asked the US President to push the legal firm to pay up the ransom.
However, it is still unclear how the hackers managed to link the law firm to Trump, who they claim has never hired GSMS, whose current client list includes celebrities such as Rod Stewart, Madonna and Priyanka Chopra.
The criminals had initially demanded $21 million and published legal contracts relating to a recent tour by Madonna as proof that they were real and possessed data related to GSMS clients.
The doubling of the ransom demand dwarfs the $2.3 million that was reportedly paid by Travelex earlier in a similar attack earlier this year.
The hackers claimed to have broken into another prominent US firm and posted some stolen documents titled “Lady Gaga” on the dark web. Cyber threat experts believe that the ransomware gang has now started to publish more data in order to get their demands accepted.
GSMS confirmed that the group has doubled the ransom demand and said it was working round the clock to deal with the crisis. They said cyber experts and the FBI had already informed them that negotiations with these criminals violated federal criminal law.