The Ransomware attack stopped critical medical research on COVID-19.
The infamous NetWalker Ransomware group hit the University of California, San Francisco. As is typical with the new wave of Ransomware, the cybercriminals stole data before locking up the network and demanding payment. This same group levied this same attack on Michigan State University. (see more here)
"The data that was encrypted is important to some of the academic work we pursue as a university serving the public good."
The research institution was reportedly in the midst of working on COVID-19-related research. This attack served to slow that progress, furthering the need to rapidly recover from the attack.
An anonymous tipoff enabled reporters to follow the ransom negotiations in a live chat on the dark web.
To make matters more embarrassing, there were a lot of eyes on the Ransom negotiation. This simply adds insult to injury!
The Netwalker group's dark-web homepage looks like a standard customer service website, with an FAQ tab, an offer of a "free" sample of its software and a live-chat option.
The NetWalker group has made Ransomware a very profitable enterprise. That profitability might only be increasing with the creation of Cybercriminal Cartels. (see more here)
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.
Urgency and fear are strong motivators. And these criminals used these to generate over a million dollars of income on just this one attack.
It's time to protect your team and your assets from these attacks.