Ransomware attacks against enterprises (“Blackmailing Enterprises: You are Patient Zero”) and academia (“Blackmailing Academia: Back to pen and paper(?)”) are not a new phenomenon, and they are a lucrative business for those who couldn’t care less about laws, ethics or getting caught. Just recently, a major US fuel pipeline was hit by a ransomware attack.
In this particular attack, the office systems of Colonial Pipeline were successfully infiltrated and the attackers tried to extort at least 100 GB of data. “Extortion” is the next level of ransomware attacks: instead of “just” encrypting the data and asking for money in exchange for the decryption key, the attackers threaten to publish that (presumably confidential or personal) data unless the victim pays a ransom.
Source:”Computer Security: What do accelerators and pipelines have in common?”, CERN News