Ransomware Gangs Target Corporate Financial Activities
The Federal Bureau of Investigation has released a warning detailing how ransomware gangs are threatening to tank share prices for publicly held companies. According to the FBI, the new extortion tactic consists of cybercriminals targeting businesses when they are approaching significant and time-sensitive financial events, such as quarterly earnings reports or initial public offerings. The criminals attempt to increase the likelihood that the company will pay the ransom by threatening to leak stolen information relevant to the upcoming events if the victim fails to pay.
Criminal organizations are starting to recognize the ability to drive leverage in their extortion demands by targeting companies at critical points. This creates a new twist to ransomware attacks and may make cybercriminals more successful in obtaining payouts. Last year, a ransomware actor called Unknown appeared to be the first to use the approach, stating on a Russian hacking forum that a good way to sway targets to pay up ransom demands is by referencing their corporate presence on the NASDAQ stock exchange.