Celebrity „dirty secrets“ can cease to be secret if the ransom is not paid

The ransomware group, REvil, says it will auction off more than 1TB of data stolen from the New York-based entertainment law firm, Grubman Shire Meiselas & Sacks. This data supposedly contains the „dirty“ secrets of many celebrities. REvil claims that the content of the data involves, sex scandals, drugs and betrayal.

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Nicki Minaj, LeBron James, and Mariah Carey among the alleged victims
In a blog post, the ransomware group says they will begin auctions on July 1, noting that the first round will contain information from Nicki Minaj, Mariah Carey and LeBron James. The price of each data set is $600,000.

Two days later, REvil plans to auction information belonging to Bad Boy Ent, Hold. Inc, Universal and MTV. The former has a starting price of $750,000, while the latter data sets will be sold for $1 million each.

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Alternatively, REvil will allow a single entity to purchase the entire content for $42,000,000. The currency requested for the auctions is Monero (XMR).

The group, also known as Sdinokibi, left a warning for the head of the law firm, Allen Grubman:

„Mr. Grubman, you have a chance to stop this, and you know what to do.“

While no further details were provided, REvil says the stolen data also contains cases of „celebrity bribery by the Democratic Party, sexual harassment by top politicians, and celebrity jealousy of each other.

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„Dirty secrets“ as a lure to scam people?
Speaking to Cointelegraph, Brett Callow, a threat analyst and ransomware expert at the malware lab, Emsisoft, said:

„Since REvil obtained (and published) information related to Lady Gaga, it’s likely they can get documents related to other celebrities as well. It is impossible to say whether the documents actually contain details about sex and political scandals, REvil may simply make a false claim in the hope of increasing the number of people willing to bid.

Callow adds that those involved in this situation are in an unfortunate position:

„Even if the ransom is paid, they will simply receive a pinky promise that the data will not be used or sold, and that pinky promise is being made by a (very) bad faith actor.“

On May 15, REvil also demanded, $42 million in crypt coins to prevent exposure of the „dirty laundry“ of U.S. President Donald Trump.