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Ransomware gang says it targeted National Rifle Association

NRA Convention
Posted at 11:15 AM, Oct 28, 2021
and last updated 2021-10-28 14:21:57-04

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — A ransomware gang believed to operate out of Russia says it has hacked the National Rifle Association.

The gang calls itself Grief and has published a handful of what appear to be NRA files related to grants that the NRA has awarded, as well as minutes from an internal meeting.

NBC News reports that Grief is threatening to release more of the organization’s files if they’re not paid, but the group didn’t publicly disclose how much.

Ransomware gangs often post a victim’s files on the dark web in hopes of spurring them to pay out a ransom.

An NRA spokesman responded to the incident with a statement on Twitter.

“NRA does not discuss matters relating to its physical or electronic security. However, the NRA takes extraordinary measures to protect information regarding its members, donors, and operations – and is vigilant in doing so,” wrote Andrew Arulanandam, managing director of NRA Public Affairs.

Many cybersecurity experts believe Greif is linked to Evil Corp, a ransomware gang that was previously active and came under sanctions from the U.S. Treasury Department, which said the group had stolen more than $100 million from banks and financial institutions in 40 countries.

Ransomware attacks have spiked in recent years against all manner of companies and organizations, but rarely are the targets as politically sensitive as the NRA.

The latest hack comes less than two weeks after Sinclair Broadcast Group fell victim to a separate ransomware attack. The company, which owns and operates TV stations across the country, says it discovered some of its servers and workstations were encrypted with ransomware, and that certain office and operational networks were disrupted.