A criminal hacker group that breached a major entertainment law firm says it will release documents on President Donald Trump if it doesn't receive $42 million in ransom.
The hackers are identified as a known criminal gang. They did not offer proof that they have damaging information about Trump. But they released a large set of stolen files from the law firm, Grubman Shire Meiselas & Sacks, which are reported to be legitimate by NBC News.
The law firm said that Trump is not a client and has never been. A spokesperson for the firm said it wasn't clear which of its clients have been compromised.
The group uses ransomware — a type of malicious software — to break into a victim's networks and encrypt them, demanding a fee to unlock them. If the victim doesn't pay up, the group slowly leaks out unencrypted versions of files stolen from those networks to prompt payment.
The criminal group posted on its blog a threat to publish files related to Trump.
"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 wrote, 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."
Criminal group that hacked law firm threatens to release Trump documents