Good Grief! Ransomware gang has only gone and pwned the NRA – or so it claims

Between US sanctions on baddies and NRA claiming bankruptcy, what are the chances anyone’s getting paid?


Grief ransomware gang took to a dark portal website where it typically publishes the data of victims that haven't paid up, to identify its latest target: the National Rifle Association (NRA).

The ransomware gang, believed by the US Department of the Treasury to be a rebranded version of Russia-based Evil Corp, posted 13 documents it claimed it had filched from the NRA on the leak site and threatened to release more if the gun rights advocacy group didn't pay up. The documents appear to be minutes from a board meeting, some financial documents and grant information.

The NRA has not issued a statement directly addressing the matter, nor responded to The Register's request for information, however, it has been guilty of vague-tweeting.

Four hours later, the org tweeted: "No guns, no freedom." Ahem.

Whether the ransomware gang attacked the NRA's central location or a smaller local branch is unknown, as is how it expects the rifle org to pay up when it claims to be bankrupt – although the claim has raised a few eyebrows.

However, going after an organisation like the NRA has drawn some amusement from the internet and may prove to be a more public-relations friendly approach than Grief's usual go-to targets of school districts, governments and healthcare facilities.

Aside from public and health institutions, Grief appears to have branched out lately. It was linked to the attack on Sinclair Broadcast Group, a telecommunications conglomerate that owns a huge swath of TV stations in the US, and was partially taken off the air earlier this month by data-stealing malware.

Assuming the NRA is not bankrupt and has the means to pay, it could find itself in quite a pickle as the cybergang at arms is under US financial sanctions. The sanctions were imposed on Grief / Evil Corp's parent company, DoppelPaymer, in December 2019 and mean American-linked businesses cannot buy off these crims without exposing themselves to further risks from regulators. ®

Similar topics

Broader topics

Narrower topics


Other stories you might like

  • GPL legal battle: Vizio told by judge it will have to answer breach-of-contract claims
    Fine-print crucially deemed contractual agreement as well as copyright license in smartTV source-code case

    The Software Freedom Conservancy (SFC) has won a significant legal victory in its ongoing effort to force Vizio to publish the source code of its SmartCast TV software, which is said to contain GPLv2 and LGPLv2.1 copyleft-licensed components.

    SFC sued Vizio, claiming it was in breach of contract by failing to obey the terms of the GPLv2 and LGPLv2.1 licenses that require source code to be made public when certain conditions are met, and sought declaratory relief on behalf of Vizio TV owners. SFC wanted its breach-of-contract arguments to be heard by the Orange County Superior Court in California, though Vizio kicked the matter up to the district court level in central California where it hoped to avoid the contract issue and defend its corner using just federal copyright law.

    On Friday, Federal District Judge Josephine Staton sided with SFC and granted its motion to send its lawsuit back to superior court. To do so, Judge Staton had to decide whether or not the federal Copyright Act preempted the SFC's breach-of-contract allegations; in the end, she decided it didn't.

    Continue reading
  • US brings first-of-its-kind criminal charges of Bitcoin-based sanctions-busting
    Citizen allegedly moved $10m-plus in BTC into banned nation

    US prosecutors have accused an American citizen of illegally funneling more than $10 million in Bitcoin into an economically sanctioned country.

    It's said the resulting criminal charges of sanctions busting through the use of cryptocurrency are the first of their kind to be brought in the US.

    Under the United States' International Emergency Economic Powers Act (IEEA), it is illegal for a citizen or institution within the US to transfer funds, directly or indirectly, to a sanctioned country, such as Iran, Cuba, North Korea, or Russia. If there is evidence the IEEA was willfully violated, a criminal case should follow. If an individual or financial exchange was unwittingly involved in evading sanctions, they may be subject to civil action. 

    Continue reading
  • Meta hires network chip guru from Intel: What does this mean for future silicon?
    Why be a customer when you can develop your own custom semiconductors

    Analysis Here's something that should raise eyebrows in the datacenter world: Facebook parent company Meta has hired a veteran networking chip engineer from Intel to lead silicon design efforts in the internet giant's infrastructure hardware engineering group.

    Jon Dama started as director of silicon in May for Meta's infrastructure hardware group, a role that has him "responsible for several design teams innovating the datacenter for scale," according to his LinkedIn profile. In a blurb, Dama indicated that a team is already in place at Meta, and he hopes to "scale the next several doublings of data processing" with them.

    Though we couldn't confirm it, we think it's likely that Dama is reporting to Alexis Bjorlin, Meta's vice president of infrastructure hardware who previously worked with Dama when she was general manager of Intel's Connectivity group before serving a two-year stint at Broadcom.

    Continue reading

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2022