Monitoring deep, dark and surface web to detect exposure of your sensitive data, secret projects and initiatives, privileged users, critical systems, IT infrastructure, and more.
Monitoring and alerting of third party data breaches impacting your employees’ emails, usernames, and personally identifiable information.
Assess the risk footprint and security posture of key business relationships to get a handle on external risk introduced through your extended attack surface.

Sign Up for Updates

Digital risk monitoring of key personnel with telemetry and risk metrics. VIPRecon provides broad coverage of social media, deep and dark web, as well as physical threat assessments.
Our Ransomware Response Readiness Assessment, Playbook and Table Top Exercise gives your organization the best chance to survive and recover.
Gain visibility of your digital footprint by reaching into the most active areas of the cyber underground.
Fully managed and tailored Threat Intelligence services that becomes an extension of your current security processes and provides real-time visibility on new threats.
Providing research and investigations into known threats, to save security teams time and stress during a cyber emergency.

Sign Up for Updates

GroupSense offers a comprehensive package of services for assessing and responding to ransomware attacks, including negotiations with threat actors.
Actively researching and monitoring threats from vendors or third-party companies that can affect organizational security.
Monitoring for threats to elections, VIPs, and more on social media to proactively prevent or mitigate digital risk.
Focusing on the threats and risks that matter to your security processes and providing intelligence and insights to prevent or mitigate digital risk.
Taking the next step in security services, by proactively taking down phishing sites or anonymously interacting with threat actors to provide better intelligence.
Active monitoring of your brand's digital assets to protect its reputation and stop further brand abuse from targeting unsuspecting victims.

Sign Up for Updates

Combining your cyber and fraud programs to effectively fight threat actors continually scamming or threatening assets within an organization.
Executives are prime targets for fraudulent activities, but with a proactive approach, any attacks or threats can be neutralized before causing any damage.
Governments, political parties and candidates must all act now to activate cyber threat intelligence services to harden their information security and get ahead of inevitable cyber threats to the election process.
3 min read

The Rise of the Geopolitical Hack

Dec 10, 2021 9:39:28 AM

The residue of ransomware is infiltrating our psychology and pocketbooks. Is politics next?

Earlier this year, GroupSense spoke to Erika Hellerstein, Senior Reporter at Coda, about connecting links between disinformation and ransomware, as well as GroupSense's backstory on how they became ransomware negotiators.

Here is a snippet from the article:

In late 2020, a cancer charity contacted the U.S.-based cybersecurity company, GroupSense, in a panic. One of the world’s largest cybercrime gangs had infiltrated the organization’s computer system and kidnapped its data. An ominously worded message explained that the hackers were willing to restore the nonprofit’s records in exchange for several million dollars.

The digital ambush thrust the charity into uncharted and potentially catastrophic territory. Paying the requested amount was unthinkable for a nonprofit group, and even if it were able to foot the bill, news of the breach trickling out to donors could be devastating. The organization eventually turned to GroupSense, which has carved a niche out of negotiating ransom payments between hackers and victims, for help.

“They were like, the number is so far off the mark that this seems hopeless. We’re doomed,” said Kurtis Minder, the company’s founder and CEO.

The middlemen agreed to step in.

Wrangling with the subterranean world of cyber-hijacking requires some finesse. So, GroupSense created a set of principles to guide their conversations. “Don’t be antagonistic, be polite and treat it like a business transaction,” explained Minder. But this case tested the organization’s patience. “We were so angry,” he recalled. “We were like, ‘You hit a cancer charity. They don’t have any money. You should just unencrypt their files immediately, so they can go back to saving people.” The appeal to the hackers’ better angels was ignored, but the two groups were, eventually, able to settle on a much lower fee than the original demand: $10,000.

The incident provides a glimpse into a dawning era of cyber chaos, where unscrupulous actors are seizing upon the vulnerabilities of our digital world in increasingly brazen and frequent attacks. Some are doing so via ransomware, a form of malicious software that hackers deploy to encrypt victims’ data and then extort them for payment.

From 2019 to 2020 alone, ransomware attacks rose by 62% globally and 152% in North America, according to a report by the cybersecurity firm SonicWall. Hackers have slipped into the electronic networks of schools, hospitals, voting systems, local governments, small businesses, and major food and fuel suppliers, disrupting the lives of millions of everyday people — all as the coronavirus pandemic cements a shift toward an ever-increasing reliance on digital systems.

The data suggests that we have entered a new phase of digital disruption. While nobody can predict what the future will hold, the evolution of disinformation could provide a useful guide. A decade ago, the issue was barely on people’s radar; now, it has become so ubiquitous in political and technological debates that a world without it seems almost unimaginable. Could ransomware follow a similar trajectory?

Read the full Coda article >

About Kurtis Minder:

Ransomware Prevention

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.

Topics: News

Written by Editorial Team