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72 Hours Left: Hackers Extend PN Ransom Deadline, But Party Insists It Isn’t Negotiating

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A group of hackers that operate on the dark web have extended the deadline for Malta’s Opposition party to pay them a ransom until this Friday, threatening to release a trove of sensitive information if they aren’t paid thousands.

However, the Nationalist Party has remained steadfast in its position of not negotiating with hackers. It is believed they were asked to send €5,000 to the hacker collective to halt the data leak.

The original ransom date was meant to expire at the end of April, but has since been extended by a week. However, some data has already been leaked on the dark web, with the group threatening to release the rest of the documents this Friday.

The attack occurred on 19th April after Avaddon ransomware was opened in the PN’s IT system.

Avaddon is a type of malware often attached to malicious emails. The ransomware obtained a series of sensitive information, including employee salaries, financial data, employee personal details, their passport photos, client data, payment documents and more” will be released on the dark web.

It is not uncommon for this type of ransomware to target companies and individuals around the world, though it is the first time that a major Maltese political party was attacked and threatened in such a way.

A magisterial inquiry is already underway, led by Victor Axiaq.

Avaddon is a ransomware malware targeting Windows systems, often spread via malicious spam. The first known attack where Avaddon ransomware was distributed was in February 2020. Avaddon encrypts files using the extension .avdn and uses a TOR payment site for the ransom payment.

What do you make of this modern threat?

READ NEXT: Here's How You Can Check If You're Eligible To Vote At Malta's Next General Election

Johnathan is interested in the weird, wonderful, and sometimes dark realities late capitalist society forces upon us all. He also likes food and music. Follow him at @supreofficialmt on Instagram, and send him news, food and music stories at [email protected]

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