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February 15, 2022

49ers Hit With Blackbyte Ransomware Attack


Ransomware does not discriminate, as these attacks are impacting businesses of all shapes and sizes. Just two weeks after losing in the NFC Championship game, the San Francisco 49ers are the latest organization to fall victim to a ransomware attack.

According to a recent report by AP News, the San Francisco 49ers were recently hit by an attack from the hacking group Blackbyte, which managed to steal financial statements from team members and post them on the dark web. Leaders with the 49ers released a statement over the weekend claiming they were dealing with a “network security incident”, and hired law enforcement professionals to help tackle the issue. Blackbyte did not state any specific demands for the data theft, nor did it reveal how much data was stolen, an unusual move in comparison to recent attacks.

Blackbyte is a decentralized hacking group using independent operators to develop malware, ransomware, and other hack-for-payment programs. This approach to cyber crime makes the situation all the more complicated, as security experts cannot easily identify who ordered the attack, nor can they determine the motive behind it. The FBI and the Secret Service issued a public warning about Blackbyte two days prior to the 49ers incident, demonstrating the threat’s credibility. .

Ransomware and other online hacking campaigns grow in sophistication and coordination on a daily basis. Delivered by an outsourced team, leveraging diverse approaches from locations spanning the globe makes it much harder for security experts to pinpoint an attack’s origin..

The complexity and rising number of these attacks is yet another reminder of the importance of investing in advanced cybersecurity strategy and deployment for digital-first organizations.




Edited by Maurice Nagle


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