Hackers Behind Massive Ransomware Outbreak Have Lowered Their Demand By $20 Million

By Cassandra Fairbanks

The hackers behind the massive July 2 international ransomware outbreak have lowered their demand by $20 million dollars.

The REvil ransomware gang, also known as Sodinokibi, was initially demanding $70 million to restore the data that they are holding ransom. The group’s data-scrambling software has harmed hundreds of businesses across at least a dozen countries.

On Monday, New Zealand announced that 11 schools and several kindergartens were affected. Hundreds of Coop supermarkets in Sweden have also been forced to close due to the attack.

During a conversation with Jack Cable of the cybersecurity-focused Krebs Stamos Group, a member of the hacker group said that they would be willing to sell a “universal decryptor” for all the victims for $50 million, according to a report from CNBC.

“It makes you wonder if they’re having a hard time getting people to pay,” Cable said.

According to Cable, he reached out to the hackers by obtaining a cryptographic key to log on to their payment portal. Reuters was also able to log on and chat with an operator, but they told the news agency that the price was unchanged at $70 million “but we are always ready to negotiate.” They also told the reporter that harming the schools was an “accident.”

The hackers had far less concern about the supermarkets, saying “its nothing more than a business.”

While Cable believes they may be having trouble selling the data, others have wondered if the hackers bit off more than they could chew by encrypting so much data from so many businesses at once.

“For all of their big talk on their blog, I think this got way out of hand,” Allan Liska of cybersecurity firm Recorded Future told CNBC.

The White House has said that they are reaching out “to provide assistance based upon an assessment of national risk.”

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4 responses to “Hackers Behind Massive Ransomware Outbreak Have Lowered Their Demand By $20 Million”

  1. AUssery says:

    You could offer 1% and still do better, then send in a Tactical group and apprehend them or eliminate them if arresting isn’t possible. It sends a much better message than Biden’s administration is sending, that it’s ok to attack our or other countries infrastructure as long as it’s not his administration..

  2. runninro says:

    Wait…so now hackers are running specials? This week only! You can have your data back at 20% off! Hurry, sale ends soon. Plus if you act now you will get this amazing liquid absorbing cloth at no extra charge!

  3. BiffBRude1 says:

    Offer 50 million for the the heads of the hackers involved instead. And every time forward. It will definitely change the calculation of the perpetrators.

  4. grave367 says:

    I always find it interesting how the media always manages to get in contact with these operators.
    Not because journalists are being proactive and reaching out, but if it were truly just about business, why would they care about the coverage?

    If they’re after exposure, it’d be a different story, but it looks like they’re signaling that they just want to get paid.

    They probably don’t care about the encrypted data in the slightest, why bother? They’re holding it for ransom anyway, hardly a matter of ‘biting off more than they can chew’ It’s not like it’s a ship full of people that they have to exchange with interpol in the middle of the ocean, It’s just data.

    It’s hard to have any empathetic response to this, when they can just say “Those businesses should have had better backups, it’s their fault anyway”