Watch out! Ransomeware actors have turned to blackmail

Ransomware has evolved into blackmail. We are all familiar with the concept of ransomware, whereby critical operational data, which includes personal data is encrypted by hackers, and hence inaccessible to the business. In order to get access, i.e. the decrypted data (the key is owned by the hacker), they need to pay a fee. The fees are significant, this article gives an insight, e.g. a recent case resulted in a fee to be paid of $350 000.

So the business gets back their operational files, and this is where the blackmail kicks in. The hackers will request a second ransomware fee of between $100 000 and $2 000 000 for the data to be deleted or they will make it public!

What is surprising, or maybe not, is that the victims are actually paying. Especially those in private healthcare, who can’t afford the damage to their reputation should it get out that they have been hacked, and sensitive data has been stolen…. and they don’t report the breach as is required by law (in the U.S.) and Europe, and other countries globally.

If you are worried about this trend, and we all should be, then protect your data as it should be (GDPR Art 32 requires this is done). Get the experts in, they cost much less than what a ransomware demand will, if they get to you first. And it could be that it is not so difficult to fix, you maybe surprised!

Edited: PrivSec have a free ‘fireside chat’ session on ransomware, and what to do if it happens to you, you can book here.


Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISA) is not aligned with civil and privacy rights of the individual according to privacy advocates such as Electronic Frontier Foundation and

Neither Microsoft or Facebook support this bill. Imagine that everything you post on FB to be available for government authorities? Fine if you trust them I suppose, but I don’t.

Why is not crowdsourcing used more in the fight against terrorism? Transparency and the power of the people, of whom most want a safe society could provide an all encompassing safetynet. Crowdsourcing for example is starting to be used to locate missing persons and children, it is very powerful. There are so many people out there that can make a positive difference to this broken world we live in.