The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) in the United States have recently given out an alert regarding harassing crypto-ransomware gangs. In recent times, there have been many incidents in the country’s private industry concerning such ransoms. One known group among them is the DoppelPaymer group, and the FBI has issued warnings regarding them.
Recently, in one of the regular PIN alerts to the U.S. private enterprises, the FBI mentioned these cold-calling tactics. The harassment attacks have gotten their notice since February 2020. The group mentioned above has many victims since then, and they have intimidated them about paying large crypto sums.
The ransom threats started mildly at first, but in recent periods, the tone has escalated. According to the FBI reports, the callers use abusive language and threaten the livelihoods of the victims. And they have threatened to hurt them too if the victims do not pay. Understandably, these incidents have affected many of the victims.
The FBI stated that they suspect the group to have threat actors and demand a 6-7 figure Bitcoin amount. When they refuse to pay, the group takes away some of the stolen data. Then, they continue calling their personal numbers to harass them for payments.
Furthermore, some incidents include ransom calls to victims’ family members too. Reports suggest that the tactic is similar to old ransomware groups like Maze and Sekhmet.
These ransomware groups target particular sectors like Emergency, Healthcare, and Education. Also, there are international victims too. This year, the groups have escalated their attacks and range. One known incident occurred on December 7, 2020. The DoppelPaymar group arranged for a cyberattack on Taiwanese company Foxconn for a ransom of 1,804 BTC.
According to Emsisoft threat analyst Brett Callow, the attacks are getting more problematic since the third quarter of 2020. He stated that the attackers are planning to weaponize the stolen data too. They check the target environment and then exfiltrate data. Thus, the FBI has cautioned the public more.