Medusa attacks Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA)

Incident Date:

April 23, 2024

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Medusa attacks Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA)


Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA)




New York, USA

New York, USA

First Reported

April 23, 2024

Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) Compromised by Medusa Ransomware Group


Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) has reportedly been compromised by the Medusa ransomware group. The group allegedly exfiltrated 423.3 GB of data, including invoices, email correspondence, vendors’ information, contact details, and employees’ data. A sample of the data has been published, and a ransom demand has been set at $100,000 with a deadline of 1 May.

About CFDA

CFDA was founded in 1962 by publicist Eleanor Lambert, and headquartered in Manhattan. It is a not-for-profit trade association comprising a membership of over 450 American fashion and accessory designers.

About Medusa Ransomware Group

Medusa is a Ransomware as a Service (RaaS) that made its debut in the summer of 2021 and has evolved to be one of the more active RaaS platforms. Attack volumes were inconsistent in the first half of 2023, with a resurgence of attack activity in the last half of 2023. The attackers restart infected machines in safe mode to avoid detection by security software, as well as prevent recovery by deleting local backups, disabling startup recovery options, and deleting VSS Shadow Copies to thwart encryption rollback.

Medusa ramped up attacks in the latter part of 2022 and has been one of the more active groups in the first quarter of 2023 but appears to have waned somewhat in the second quarter. Medusa typically demands ransoms in the millions of dollars, which can vary depending on the target organization’s ability to pay.

Modus Operandi

The Medusa RaaS operation (not to be confused with the operators of the earlier MedusaLocker ransomware) typically compromises victim networks through malicious email attachments (macros), torrent websites, or malicious ad libraries. Medusa can terminate over 280 Windows services and processes without command line arguments (there may be a Linux version as well, but it is unclear at this time.)

Medusa targets multiple industry verticals, especially healthcare and pharmaceutical companies, as well as public sector organizations. Medusa also employs a double extortion scheme where some data is exfiltrated prior to encryption. Still, they are not as generous with their affiliate attackers, only offering as much as 60% of the ransom if paid.

Recent Ransomware Attacks

The Recent Ransomware Attacks (RRA) site acts as a watchtower, providing you with near real-time ransomware tracking of attacks, groups and their victims. Given threat actors’ overarching, lucrative success so far, ransomware attacks have become the most ubiquitous, and financially and informationally impactful cyber threat to businesses and organizations today.

The site’s data is generated based on hosting choices of real-world threat actors, and a handful of other trackers. While sanitization efforts have been taken, we cannot guarantee 100% accuracy of the data. Attack updates will be made as source data is reported by reputable sources. By viewing, accessing, or using RRA you acknowledge you are doing so at your own risk.