Canadian insurance company lost nearly US$1M in ransomware attack
Computers at a Canadian insurance company were disabled for more than one week due to a ransomware attack that resulted in a payout of nearly US$1 million.
The U.K. court action is being led by a British insurance firm with which the Canadian company had a policy protecting it against suffering losses from cyberattacks.Neither company is named publicly in the lawsuit the British company has filed against the unknown attackers. In
a court decisionmade last month and published Jan. 17, Justice Simon Bryan ruled that hearings in the case would be held in private and that the involved insurance companies' names would not be published, saying anything else would open the insurance companies up to retaliatory and copycat attacks while also potentially giving the hackers a chance to cover their tracks.
"Publicity would defeat the object of the hearing," Bryan wrote.COMPANY TURNED OVER US$950,000According to Bryan's written decision, the hacker or hackers somehow "managed to infiltrate and bypass the firewall of [the Canadian company]." From there, they encrypted files on the company's servers and locked desktop computers. They also left a note.
"Hello [company name] your network was hacked and encrypted. No free decryption software is available on the web. Email us … to get the ransom amount. Keep our contact safe. Disclosure can lead to impossibility of decryption. Please use your company name as the email subject," the message read.
The Canadian company got in touch with its British insurer, which hired ransomware response specialists. The hacker told the specialists they were demanding US$1.2 million in Bitcoin, but eventually agreed to US$950,000 "as an exception."The specialists then transferred 109.25 Bitcoin – roughly equivalent to US$950,000 at the time – of the British company's money to the specified account. Although they had been promised a quick response, nearly 16 hours elapsed before the hacker got in touch again, giving them a decryption program.
Even with the program, it took five days to run the program on each of the company's 20 servers and five more to decrypt and unlock all 1,000 desktop computers.Some of the Bitcoin was sold for other currency before specialists were able to locate it, but the bulk of the ransom – 96 Bitcoin – was traced to one specific account on one specific exchange.
The British company is suing the hacker as well as the owner of the account – it's not certain if they're the same person or not – as well as the Bitcoin exchange. The insurance firm is seeking a court order to force the exchange to reveal the identity of the account owner.
Stock photo of library computers. So sad. So cheep no class It’s no problem, the public will pay for it. Could it have been ICBC? It’s always good news to see insurance companies and banks losing money Should’ve had.... insurance. 😎 No problem, because of the insurance companies incompetence in safe guarding their systems, the cost will be passed on to their clients in higher insurance rates.
If you aren't naming the insurance company then your story is shallow 😡 What ransomware was it A picture of computers in a library, really is this the best you can do? Which company was it? So they will just raise rates back your system up regularly and keep the backup drive offline
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