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How Hackers Extorted $1.14m From a US University

Accepted submission by chromas at 2020-06-29 11:15:32
Business

A leading medical-research institution working on a cure for Covid-19 has admitted it paid hackers a $1.14m (£910,000) ransom after a covert negotiation witnessed by BBC News.

The Netwalker criminal gang attacked University of California San Francisco (UCSF) on 1 June.

IT staff unplugged computers in a race to stop the malware spreading.

And an anonymous tip-off enabled BBC News to follow the ransom negotiations in a live chat on the dark web.

[...] At first glance, its dark-web homepage looks like a standard customer-service website, with a frequently asked questions (FAQ) tab, an offer of a "free" sample of its software and a live-chat option.

But there is also a countdown timer ticking down to a time when the hackers either double the price of their ransom, or delete the data they have scrambled with malware.

Continued at the BBC [bbc.com].


Original Submission