Criminals tighten the digital thumbscrew
This threat assessment informs Danish public authority and private company decision-makers of the threat from so-called double extortion in which hackers threaten to leak information stolen in connection with ransomware attacks.
Targeted ransomware attacks in which cyber criminals extort public authorities and private companies for large sums of money by encrypting data on vital IT systems are part of the threat landscape, also against Danish public authorities and private companies.
Since the autumn of 2019, criminal hackers have expanded their extortion tactics, threatening to leak or sell sensitive information stolen in connection with ransomware attacks. Ransomware attacks combined with threats of data leak are called double extortion.
The double extortion technique was first seen used in the United States. However, in September 2020 a Danish company fell victim to extortion, proving that Danish public authorities and private companies may also become victim to such attacks.
Double extortion not only poses a very significant threat to the public authorities and private companies falling victim to ransomware attacks; it also threatens the clients, partners and citizens whose sensitive information is at risk of being leaked or sold.
Centre for Cybersecurity
February 2, 2021