Darknet - Stolen Federal Data: The Mystery Behind Slow Downloads

Last June, a significant cyber incident took place when the cybercriminal group "Play" managed to infiltrate the IT company XPlain, successfully stealing critical federal administration data. Recently, this sensitive information has resurfaced on the darknet, where it is now accessible to interested parties seeking to obtain it.

In a recent interview with Swiss Radio and Television (SRF), Nicolas Mayencourt shed light on the process of accessing the stolen data, exploring the complexities of the slow download speed and delving into the potential motivations behind the cyber assault.

Obtaining the stolen data from the darknet proved to be a formidable challenge, with downloads taking weeks. Mayencourt attributed the sluggishness to the intricate obfuscation and encryption technology used by the Tor network, making data retrieval a tough task. The high demand for the stolen data also contributed to the slow pace.

Interestingly, Mayencourt pointed out that there were more efficient methods available, like the Tor alternative I2P or simple anonymous exchange platforms, which could expedite the process significantly. So why did the blackmailers opt for the slow method? It turns out their sinister "multi-extortion" tactic was at play:  "The data is systematically analysed and monetised or entire data sets are sold to other buyers," says Mayencourt.

The cyber criminals' strategy began to make sense: their objective was to maintain control over the data release. A swift and widespread distribution could undermine their extortion tactics, reducing the incentive for victims to pay the ransom.

The repercussions of this cyber attack on Switzerland are immense. Nicolas Mayencourt views this attack as catastrophic, tarnishing Switzerland's international image, stating, "When a highly developed country like Switzerland suffers such substantial information losses to criminals, it reflects poorly on us from an international perspective."

Read the full article (German only): https://www.srf.ch/news/darknet-gestohlene-daten-des-bundes-warum-ist-der-download-so-langsam

Darknet - Stolen Federal Data: The Mystery Behind Slow Downloads

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