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Italian hackers steal artists’ data, demand millions in ransom for return

DPA
Rome
Hackers in Italy have stolen massive amounts of artists’ data and are demanding 3 million euros (3.4 million dollars) in ransom for their return.
The Italian Society of Authors and Publishers (SIAE) - which collects royalties on behalf of musicians, actors, authors and dancers - was hacked on Wednesday, resulting in around 60 gigabytes of material being encrypted and now unreadable.
SIAE director Geatano Blandini told the ANSA news agency that 28,000 documents - including addresses, identity cards and medical information - were downloaded and have in part already appeared for sale on the dark web.
The hackers were demanding 3 million euros in bitcoin, he said. “The SIAE will not pay a ransom,” Blandini said, adding that the authorities were now involved in the case.
The hack was a ransomware attack, he said, referring to when hackers hack a computer and encrypt all the data on it, rendering it inaccessible to the owner. The hackers then demand payment to decrypt the files.
There was reportedly a smaller attack on SIAE a few weeks ago, for which a hacker group called Everest claimed responsibility, according to ANSA.

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