Is FBI Telling Hollywood to “Pay the Ransom?”
Tatiana Siegel reports that there have been “at least a half-dozen extortion attempts against Hollywood firms over the past six months alone, say sources in the cybersecurity industry.” And things are so bad, it seems, that:
The frequency of the attacks has overwhelmed the FBI’s Los Angeles field office, which has been unable to properly investigate all of them. The FBI’s surprising advice, according to industry sources: Pay the ransom. After all, the hackers aren’t asking much more than a Cannes hotel tab. In all of the Hollywood extortion cases, the hackers demanded less than $80,000. A law enforcement source says that in California, losses would need to exceed $50,000 for the U.S. Attorney’s office to prosecute, thus keeping the FBI from pursuing most of these cases.
But an FBI spokesperson in the L.A. office denied that the agency is telling companies to cough up the bitcoins in cases of ransomware.
Read more on Hollywood Reporter. Then look at how the Daily Mail leads with the claim that the FBI is advising studios to pay the ransom demands.
But this is all interesting, especially since TheDarkOverlord went pretty quiet again in terms of dumping Hollywood-related material. Could they be in ongoing negotiations? Have they been paid off? Hmmm….