Lady Gaga, Madonna & More Stars' Legal Secrets At Risk After Cyberattack
By Paris Close
May 13, 2020
A high-profile law firm had to inform A-list clients of a massive data breach that could threaten expose sensitive documents including private emails, contracts and personal details. Infamous hacker group Revil, believably from Eastern Europe, allegedly demanded a $21 million ransom in the cyberattack in which confidential files of many celebrities have been stolen.
“We can confirm that we've been victimized by a cyberattack,” New York-based entertainment law firm Grubman Shire Meiselas & Sacks told Variety Tuesday (May 12). “We have notified our clients and our staff. We have hired the world's experts who specialize in this area, and we are working around the clock to address these matters.”
Among the 767 gigabytes of information the hackers claimed to have obtained include non-disclosure agreements, private contact information and private correspondence. One of the firm’s founders, Allen Grubman, was also reported to have had “sensitive details on everything - work contracts, confidential settlements and endorsement deals for the biggest stars in New York and Hollywood.”
Several stars have been targeted in the data breach, according to the Daily Mail.
Per cybersecurity firm Emsisoft, the group has posted contract excerpts related to Madonna’s 2019 “Madame X” tour. Christina Aguilera and Lizzo’s signed contracts have also been shared.
The files of past and present clients like musicians Nicki Minaj, Mary J. Blige, Jessica Simpson, Run DMC and Ella Mai have also been seized along with stars Cam Newton, Priyanka Chopra and Idina Menzel.
The incident is being described as a ransomeware attack, in which cybercriminals threaten to expose stolen data to extort payment.
A Page Six source said the hack, currently under investigation by the FBI, had been facilitated because “everyone was focused on the coronavirus.” They added, “We assume, but there is no confirmation, that the hackers are Eastern European. They are demanding a $21 million ransom, and the firm is not negotiating with them.”
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