Hackers Double Ransom Demand of Lawyer, Threaten Trump

Group now wants firm to pay $42M
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted May 17, 2020 10:40 AM CDT
Hackers Double Ransom Demand of Lawyer, Threaten Trump
Hackers are demanding $42 million from an entertainment lawyer's firm.   (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee, File)

Hackers who stole documents from a top entertainment lawyer have threatened to release files on President Trump if a ransom isn't paid. They've doubled their demand to $42 million, Page Six reports. A group that calls itself REvil hacked the server of Allen Grubman's firm, taking files of contracts, celebrities' personal emails and other documents. Backup files were deleted or encrypted, and the hackers said they'll supply the key in exchange for the ransom, which was increased on Thursday. The group's message told Trump to pressure Grubman to pay up "if you want to stay president," saying it had found "a ton of dirty laundry" on the president. The New York law firm's clients include Lady Gaga, Madonna, Mariah Carey, U2, and Bruce Springsteen.

The hackers said they doubled the ransom because they received a payment of $365,000 instead of the full $21 million. Grubman Shire Meiselas & Sacks denied making any payment. "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," the firm said in a statement. "Even when enormous ransoms have been paid, the criminals often leak the documents anyway." The firm has never represented Trump or the Trump Organization, per Variety. Emsisoft, a cybersecurity firm, said REvil—also called Sodinokibi—released a stolen document involving Trump once before, per the Hill. It turned out to be an invitation to a fundraiser at Mar-a-Lago. (More hackers stories.)

Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
Install the Newser News app
in two easy steps:
1. Tap in your navigation bar.
2. Tap to Add to Home Screen.