Apple and DarkSide have 15% in common

Privacy-as-a-service and malware-as-a-service -- they each take their cut.

From "US recovers most of ransom paid after Colonial Pipeline hack" posted last week:

The Justice Department has recovered most of a multimillion-dollar ransom payment made to hackers after a cyberattack that caused the operator of the nation’s largest fuel pipeline to halt its operations last month, officials said Monday...

The Bitcoin amount seized — 63.7, currently valued at $2.3 million after the price of Bitcoin tumbled— amounted to 85% of the total ransom paid, which is the exact amount that the cryptocurrency-tracking firm Elliptic says it believes was the take of the affiliate who carried out the attack. The ransomware software provider, DarkSide, would have gotten the other 15%.

My take: Apologies for the weird juxtaposition. I'm getting strong flashbacks of Bruce Sterling's "Islands in the Net" (1998) -- a classic cyberpunk thriller set among rogue data havens operating behind strong crypto.


  1. Fred Stein said:
    I love the irony of the 15% cut.

    Worth noting: The penetration came from a single compromised password. So when are we gonna call it ‘safety’ instead of privacy, and stop labeling privacy as a branding ploy?

    June 13, 2021
    • David Emery said:
      it’s more than just a single compromised password. That got the hackers in the door. It’s a combination of bad policies and vulnerabilities inside the network that let the hackers exploit everything.

      My metaphor is a bank where the front doors are locked, but once you’re inside, everything is out in the open, cash drawers, vault, safe deposit boxes, etc.

      June 14, 2021
  2. A key concept from the 6/11/21 NYT “In Leak Investigation…” article by Nicas, Wakabayashi and Bennery:
    “…the world’s largest tech companies have become surveillance intermediaries and crucial partners to authorities, with the power to arbitrate which requests to honor and which to reject.” Gatekeepers. Our gatekeepers. I’ll drop link next post.

    June 14, 2021
  3. Steven Philips said:
    requires you The link, unfortunately requires you to create an account with NYT – which I won’t do.

    June 14, 2021

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