Comment: Hackers Extort $1.14m From University Of California, San Francisco

BBC reported that Netwalker criminal gang have extorted $1.14m from the University of California, San Francisco.  According to the BBC, it witnessed the covert negotiations over the ransom on a live chat taking place on the dark web.

Tarik Saleh, Senior Security Engineer and Malware Researcher,  DomainTools
June 30, 2020
It is also not guaranteed that, once paid their share, criminals will actually provide the victim with a decryption key.
NetWalker’s usual entry point is a phishing email, which is why prevention through cyber awareness training courses remain organisations’ best bet to prevent falling victim to this type of attack. This is particularly true for high profile targets such as Universities, which have thousands of endpoints to secure and hold sensitive personal information and valuable research data. It is unfortu ....
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Carl Wearn, Head of E-Crime ,  Mimecast
June 30, 2020
Payment also encourages cybercriminals to try their luck for more.
Organisations, in this case a university, paying a ransom this large is really troubling and highlights that many will do anything to avoid disruption to their daily operations. Our recent State of Email Security report found that the average downtime from a ransomware attack is three days, and for many this time gap is unacceptable and drives organisations to pay the ransom. However, it is recomm ....
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