[BreachExchange] Hackers in £800K Bitcoin ransom note to Kent PPE firm

Destry Winant destry at riskbasedsecurity.com
Tue Jun 2 10:13:51 EDT 2020


A gang demanded an £800,000 Bitcoin ransom in a cyber attack on a firm
owned by Kent County Council, and leaked its data on the dark web.

Kent Commercial Services (KCS) delivers services and supplies to
public authorities, including protective equipment during the Covid-19

No ransom was paid and no personal data relating to taxpayers was
stolen, KCS said.

The Information Commissioner said KCS had been given data protection advice.

KCS chief executive John Burr said: "The timing of this attack is
particularly malicious and challenging given the current Covid-19

The Local Democracy Reporting Service was told the attack bore "the
hallmarks of starting with a phishing email that was used to introduce
a virus that then compromised the network".

The hackers encrypted the firm's systems and data and demanded payment
to release and repair them on 2 April.

Stolen data that went on the dark web contained business and corporate
information relating to business activities of KCS, based in

It took the company over four weeks to get the majority of systems
back online with additional security, with remaining systems going
live in the next two weeks.

The firm, which has an annual revenue of about £350m, is owned by the
council but operates independently.

A spokesman for the Information Commissioner's Office said: "We were
made aware of this incident and looked into the details. We provided
data protection advice to the organisation and concluded no further
action was necessary at this time."

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