BBC got to spectate ransomware negotiations with NetWalker

Oh, this is a bit different.  Joe Tidy of BBC reports that BBC got an anonymous tipoff about NetWalker’s ransomware negotiations with the University of California San Francisco and was able to spectate the chat negotiations.

BBC’s report includes snippets of the negotiations such as when the uni counter-offered $780,000 to the threat actors’ $3 million demand, claiming that the pandemic had financially devastated the university:

Snippet of chat negotiations between NetWalker operator and UCSF. Credit: BBC.

Read more of the details on BBC. I don’t recall ever seeing ransomware operators tip media to allow them to spectate negotiations in real-time.  But it makes no sense that a uni employee would have tipped a UK publication to this. So who dunnit?  Are ransomware operations evolving again to test the waters of giving media ring-side seats?  Maybe.

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