Administration

Law firm targeted by hackers says Trump was never a client

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The celebrity law firm targeted by a hacking group with a $42 million ransom demand said Sunday that it had no previous relationship with President Trump after the hackers threatened to release damaging information on Trump and others.

A spokesperson for Grubman, Shire, Meiselas & Sacks, P.C. told CNN that the firm had never listed Trump among its list of high-profile clients, which include names behind top brands such as Vera Wang and Tommy Hilfiger. The White House did not immediately return a request for comment from The Hill on whether Trump had any relationship with the firm.

Hackers from a group identified by experts as “REvil” or “Sodinokibi” targeted the firm in with a ransomware attack, locking up the law firm’s network and demanding $42 million in ransom in a post to a dark web forum first reported by Variety on Friday.

The group later claimed that it would release politically damaging information on Trump should the firm refuse to pay the ransom, while also stating that it had received $365,000 from the firm so far.

“The next person we’ll be publishing is Donald Trump. There’s an election race going on, and we found a ton of dirty laundry,” the group’s post reportedly read. “And to you voters, we can let you know that after such a publication, you certainly don’t want to see him as president.”

A spokesperson for Grubman, Shire, Meiselas & Sacks, P.C. denied this in statements to multiple news outlets.

“We have been informed by the experts and the FBI that negotiating with or paying ransom to terrorists is a violation of federal criminal law,” the spokesperson told CNN and Variety. “Even when enormous ransoms have been paid, the criminals often leak the documents anyway.”

“The leaking of our clients’ documents is a despicable and illegal attack by these foreign cyberterrorists who make their living attempting to extort high-profile US companies, government entities, entertainers, politicians, and others,” the spokesperson continued.

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