June 20, 2021

Volume XI, Number 171

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June 18, 2021

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Ransomware Criminals Leaking Troves of Data Following Double Extortion Demands

It is reported by Bleeping Computer that security researcher DarkTracer has tracked data leaks since 2019, concluding that 34 ransomware groups have leaked data stolen from 2,103 organizations to date. The data are usually leaked on the dark web following a cyber-attack in which the attackers have been able to infiltrate a company system, exfiltrate sensitive data, encrypt the data to prevent access, demand a ransom payment to decrypt the data and— when the victim refuses to pay the ransom— demand a second ransom for the destruction of the exfiltrated data. This is called a double extortion ransomware attack.

According to DarkTracer, the top five groups leaking stolen data include: Conti, Sodinokibi/REvil, DoppelPaymer, Avaddon, and Pysa. In addition, since ransomware groups have been successful in extorting ransoms with the threat of leaking data, data leak marketplaces have been created to sell the stolen data following exfiltration. According to Bleeping Computer, “[W]hile it may seem better to pay a ransom to prevent a data leak, there is no guarantee that the data won’t be released or sold to other threat actors. Therefore, if your data is stolen, you are better off treating it as a data breach and being transparent about it to those who are affected.”

Copyright © 2021 Robinson & Cole LLP. All rights reserved.National Law Review, Volume XI, Number 133
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About this Author

Linn F. Freedman, Robinson Cole Law Firm, Cybersecurity and Litigation Law Attorney, Providence
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Linn Freedman practices in data privacy and security law, cybersecurity, and complex litigation. She provides guidance on data privacy and cybersecurity compliance to a full range of public and private clients across all industries, such as construction, education, health care, insurance, manufacturing, real estate, utilities and critical infrastructure, marine, and charitable organizations. Linn is a member of the firm's Business Litigation Group and chairs its Data Privacy + Cybersecurity Team. She is also a member of the Financial Services Cyber-Compliance Team (CyFi ...

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