Hackers have increasingly roped in everyday people whose information is stored in computers that have been breached, pestering them by phone and email.
Kurtis Minder, CEO at GroupSense, recently spoke to Kevin Collier, NBC News' cybersecurity, privacy, and technology policy reporter, about recent ransomware hackers that have started reaching out to people whose files were part of data breaches.
Kevin tells the story of Wayne and his son, who were unknowingly involved in a breach at Wayne's son's school until hackers started emailing him directly with garbled threats.
Ransomware hackers frequently leak files of organizations that don’t meet their demands and have littered the dark web with school children’s personal information.
What Wayne received, however, represented a newer tactic. Ransomware hackers, always in search of new ways to add pressure to organizations they extort, have increasingly roped in everyday people whose information is stored in computers they hacked, pestering them by phone and email to lobby the victim organization to pay.
Such calls and emails from hackers can be an unnerving experience for regular people, said Kurtis Minder, the CEO of cybersecurity company GroupSense, which had several companies receive such calls last year.
“You’ve got to put yourself in the shoes of a normal citizen when you get a call like that from some foreign hacker,” he said. “It’s got to be the most bizarre experience. It’s got to be super unsettling."
About Kurtis Minder:
Kurtis Minder is the CEO and co-founder of GroupSense, a leading provider in Digital Risk solutions. Kurtis built a robust cyber reconnaissance operation protecting some of the largest enterprises and government organizations. Kurtis has been the lead negotiator at GroupSense for ransomware response cases. He has successfully navigated and negotiated some of the largest ransomware, breach, and data extortion cases world-wide. With over 20 years in the information security industry, Kurtis brings a unique blend of technical, sales and executive acumen.