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The ransomware gang says it targeted the National Rifle Association

Richmond, Virginia – A ransomware gang, believed to be active in Russia, says it has hacked the National Rifle Association, the most powerful gun rights group in the United States.

The gang, who calls themselves grief, has published some of what look like NRA files on the dark website. The file reviewed by the Associated Press is related to a grant awarded by the NRA. Ransomware gangs often post victims’ files publicly in the hope that they will drive them to pay the ransom.

NRA spokesman Andrew Arlanandam said on Twitter that the NRA “has not discussed issues related to physical or electronic security” and “special measures” to protect information. Said that he was taking. A person who knew the situation directly, was not allowed to discuss the issue publicly, and spoke on condition of anonymity said the NRA had a problem with the email system this week. This is a potential sign of a ransomware attack.

Ransomware attacks on all types of businesses and organizations have surged in recent years, but they are rarely as politically sensitive targets as the NRA. The group has long had close ties with top Republican lawmakers and has been a major supporter of Republican candidates. The NRA has spent tens of millions of dollars in support of Donald Trump in the last two presidential elections.

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Although the group has been plagued by legal and financial issues in recent years, it remains a politically powerful force with more than 5 million members.

Allan Liska, an intelligence analyst at cybersecurity firm Recorded Future, said it was extremely rare for politically active groups such as NRA to be targeted by ransomware gangs, but the attack was a political motive. He said there was no evidence of it. He said ransomware gangs usually target vulnerable technologies rather than targeting organizations.

“It’s unlikely that this is specifically for NRA. It happened to be hit, but you never know,” he said.

Liska said the email issue could be related to a ransomware attack. He said email systems are often the primary target of ransomware gangs because they often contain sensitive information, hindering organizations from responding to attacks and further motivating them to pay the ransom.

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An FBI spokesperson did not immediately return a message asking for comment.

Greif is believed by many cybersecurity experts to be linked to the previously active ransomware gang, Evil Corp. The US Treasury said it imposed sanctions on the group in 2019, stealing more than $ 100 million from banks and financial institutions in 40 countries.

US-Russian relations are already tense this year over a series of high-profile ransomware attacks on US targets launched by Russia-based cyber gangs. President Joe Biden has warned Russian President Vladimir Putin to crack down on ransomware criminals, but some of the Biden administration’s cybersecurity officials have recently said no evidence of this has been seen.

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Washington Associated Press writer Eric Tucker contributed to this report.

Copyright 2021 AP communication. all rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.

The ransomware gang says it targeted the National Rifle Association

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