Hackers steal Radiohead recordings; demand a $150k USD ransom

According to information security services specialists, the music group Radiohead was the victim of a group of hackers which somehow managed to steal a set of archived sessions of the band in recent days, threatening to publish them if they did not receive a $150k USD ransom.

However, instead of paying the ransom or trying to negotiate with the threat actors, the band decided to launch the unpublished material via Bandcamp, a platform for musicians where artists can publish their work and set their own prices for their music.

“We were hacked a few days ago; an unidentified person or group stole some recordings from the late 1990s and, as we have been informed, demands a $150k USD ransom to not publish it. Instead of starting a tedious process, or just ignoring the thieves, we decided to publish these 18 hours of recordings on Bandcamp”, mentions a post on the band’s official Facebook page.

Radiohead set a minimum price of 18 pounds in exchange for the 18 hours of recording dating back to the year 1997, when their album “OK Computer” was released. According to information security services experts, the material will be available in Bandcamp for the next two weeks; through a statement, the band said that the revenue generated by the sale of this material will be destined to an NGO dedicated to combating climate change.

Jonny Greenwood, guitarist of the band, said that they had not considered launching this material for the public, “it is not something that is especially interesting”, said the musician. Fans have shown their support for the band and their decision not to negotiate with the cybercriminals who stole their sessions; even sarcastically, there are those who have thanked hackers for forcing the band to launch these never heard before records.

Information security services specialists from the International Institute of Cyber Security (IICS) consider that the musical group did the right thing by deciding not to negotiate with the cybercriminals because this kind of extortion usually does not it ends well for the victim. The best example is ransomware attacks in which victims often yield to the demands of criminals without receiving their information back, not to mention that paying for ransom only helps finance the illicit activities of these groups.