Hacking Group Demands $1 Million Ransom From LGBTQ Dating Platform

An Iranian hacking group is demanding to be paid a $1 million ransom to stop it from leaking personal data from an LGBTQ dating website based in Israel.

Approximately one million ‘Atraf’ users are affected by the attack, but information such as names, emails, phone numbers and HIV statuses have been collected. Public transport companies, a children’s museum and a radio blog were also impacted.

The demands were posted by notorious hacking group ‘Black Shadow’ on Sunday and it is threatening to leak the data if it hasn’t received payment within 48 hours.

Atraf’s website is currently unavailable to access due to errors with the host servers.

Yoram Hacohen, Director General of the Israel Internet Association, insisted that people should not submit to demands under any circumstances.

According to The Jerusalem Post, he explained: “There is no guarantee that if the amount is paid the information will not be published and more importantly such a surrender will lead to further and increased attacks due to what is perceived by them as an achievement.

“What needs to be done now is to refine online safety and privacy regulations and provide all the support, physically and mentally, to those about whom information has been revealed.”

Black Shadow has been responsible for a number of attacks against Israeli companies in the past. Members describe themselves as “hacktivists” and are motivated by anti-Israel ideologies.

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