San Francisco, May 16 (IANS) A hacking group which got access to secret data belonging to one of the premier media and entertainment law firms in the US representing top-notch celebrities has now threatened to reveal "dirty laundry" on President Donald Trump unless they are paid $42 million in a week.
It is not clear why Trump is linked to the law firm.
The hacking group REvil initially demanded $21 million ransom from the law firm, Grubman Shire Meiselas & Sacks, after stealing 756 gigabyte of confidential data that include contracts, nondisclosure agreements, phone numbers and email addresses, and "personal correspondence" of some of the top Hollywood and music stars.
According to a report in Page Six this week, Attorney Allen Grubman of the New York-based law firm is refusing to negotiate with the hackers apparently because there is no guarantee that the hackers will not release confidential documents even after they are paid.
Not getting the desired response from the attorney, the hackers have now issued a new threat, while also doubling their ransom amount.
"The next person we'll be publishing is Donald Trump. There's an election race going on, and we found a ton of dirty laundry on time," the group posted on its blog on Thursday, giving a one-week deadline.
"And to you voters, we can let you know that after such a publication, you certainly don't want to see him as president."
The group, however, did not furnish any proof that it had got access to secret data on Trump.
"Grubman, we will destroy your company down to the ground if we don't see the money," the criminal group wrote.
Citing sources, Page Six reported that Trump has never been a Grubman client, either as a private businessman or during his administration.
"Our elections, our government and our personal information are under escalating attacks by foreign cybercriminals. Law firms are not immune from this malicious activity," Grubman Shire Meiselas & Sacks, said in a statement to Page Six.
"Despite our substantial investment in state-of-the-art technology security, foreign cyberterrorists have hacked into our network and are demanding $42 million as ransom. We are working directly with federal law enforcement and continue to work around the clock with the world's leading experts to address this situation," the statement added.