$22 Million Ransom Suspected

Evidence suggests Change Healthcare may have paid a massive ransom to the AlphV ransomware group.


Affiliate Spills the Beans

A disgruntled partner’s online post reveals potential ransom payment and infighting among cybercriminals.


Data Theft Threat Looms

Even with the ransom potentially paid, exfiltrated data from healthcare providers remains a risk.

News > Cyber-ATtacks > CA-General
by Kevin Wood

Change Healthcare Ransomware Attack: Reports of $22 Million Payout Fuel Cybersecurity Concerns



Reports of $22 million bitcoin payment circulating

The crippling ransomware attack that has disrupted Change Healthcare’s systems for over a week took a new turn with reports of a substantial ransom payment. Evidence suggests that the notorious ransomware group AlphV (a.k.a BlackCat) may have received around $22 million in bitcoin shortly before their dark web extortion site went offline.

Key Developments

  • $22 Million Bitcoin Transfer: Blockchain analysis reveals a single transaction of 350 bitcoins, worth approximately $22 million, into an AlphV-linked wallet.
  • Affiliate Outcry: An alleged AlphV affiliate claims the group received the Change Healthcare ransom but cut them out of the promised profit share. This dispute spilled over onto underground forums.
  • Data Theft Risk Remains: The disgruntled affiliate claims to have exfiltrated sensitive data from multiple healthcare partners of Change Healthcare. This poses a continued extortion and data leak threat, even if a ransom was paid.
  • AlphV Site Disappears: Shortly after the affiliate’s post, AlphV’s dark web extortion site appeared to have been seized. Whether this is due to law enforcement intervention or the group evading disgruntled partners remains unclear.

Heightened Cybersecurity Concerns

This development, if confirmed, has serious implications for the healthcare sector and beyond:

  • Profitability Fuels Attacks: A substantial ransom payment emboldens ransomware groups, making healthcare providers a prime target due to their critical services.
  • The Ransomware Dilemma: Companies like Change Healthcare may feel pressured into making impossible choices. Paying the ransom could encourage further attacks, while not paying may lead to prolonged disruption for patients and partners.
  • Lingering Data Risks: Even if the main group’s operations are disrupted, rogue affiliates with healthcare data still pose a threat, demanding further payments or leaking sensitive information.

AlphV’s Resurgence

Despite a previous FBI takedown in December 2023, AlphV resurfaced mere months later with a devastating blow to Change Healthcare. This highlights the persistent, shape-shifting nature of ransomware groups notorious for rebranding, such as the Colonial Pipeline attackers.

The Need for Proactive Defense

This incident underscores the importance of investing in robust cybersecurity measures and contingency plans. Healthcare organizations, in particular, need:

  • Layered Security: Multi-layered defenses, including endpoint protection, network segmentation, and intrusion detection systems, increase resilience.
  • Data Backup and DR: Comprehensive backup and disaster recovery plans are crucial for minimizing disruption and facilitating faster recovery.
  • Incident Response: Well-defined incident response protocols, including communication plans, ensure swift action to contain breaches and restore operations.

Ongoing Vigilance

As ransomware threats continue to evolve, businesses of all sizes must prioritize cybersecurity and adopt proactive strategies. The Change Healthcare incident, and its potential $22 million fallout, serves as a stark reminder that the consequences of inaction can be both financially devastating and disruptive to essential services.


  • The Change Healthcare incident highlights the high stakes of ransomware and the ruthless nature of cybercrime.
  • Paying the ransom doesn’t guarantee safety – stolen data can become a lingering liability.
  • BBG helps healthcare organizations defend against ransomware with proactive security and robust backup solutions.
  • Prevention is key. Don’t wait until it’s too late – strengthen your cyber defenses with BBG.
  • Email info@bbg-mn.com today to schedule a demo!