One of the unforeseen aftereffects of Internet and all the cyber infrastructure we are so proud of, is the fact that every nerd with great computer and hacking skills can be a bully. Check this out for example: A group of Russian hackers are apparently divesting several liberal political groups from the US of their money. And the latter are said to be coughing up money like clockwork.
The report comes from Bloomberg. Apparently, a whole group of liberal political groups operating out of the US have suddenly found themselves targets of Russian hackers. However, this time the hackers don’t intend to have any influence on US politics — which they successfully attempted the last time with catastrophic consequences for the US, pun intended — instead, they are out to make some good’ol money.
The workings of these groups are quite simple. First they target a political party. Next, they move to acquire e-mails, messages — literally anything that could be source to information that the said political group would find it inconvenient if released to the public. Then, the said information is used to blackmail the organizations into making large donations, to the tune of $30,000-$150,000, to the hackers. The money is accepted as bitcoin and as such, is pretty hard to trace.
Meanwhile, The Center for American Progress and Arabella Advisors are the two organizations said to have come under attack by these hackers. Unsurprisingly, the former has denied all such claims.
This is not exactly surprising and is also tied up with how many of these organizations are wary of going to law enforcement for fear of whatever they are scared of, leaking into the public. As far as the ransom amount is concerned, they are usually able to pay it because of the fact that many f these groups have to do with lobbying — something which requires them to be well-funded.