First Business News Portal in English from Nepal
Kathmandu: The REvil ransomware gang has struck again. This time the victim is Brown-Forman, the 150-year-old Kentucky-based company behind such brands as Jack Daniel’s, Finlandia vodka and Korbel champagne. According to a statement published by the attacks, the REvil crew had access to Brown-Forman’s systems for over a month. In that time they were able to methodically explore systems and devices. Not even the company’s cloud-based services were out of reach. The situation doesn’t look good, but it could have been a lot worse. Speaking to Bleeping Computer, a Brown-Forman representative said that the company detected the attack and intervened before any data could be encrypted. File-encrypting ransomware has been plaguing victims for decades now. In recent years, criminal hackers have developed and deployed increasingly sophisticated strains. Attacks that once primarily targeted end users are now being carefully planned and launched against governments and billion-dollar corporations.
While Brown-Forman is certainly fortunate to have thwarted that part of the attack, the REvil gang claims it exfiltrated about a terabyte of the company’s data. It’s now being used as leverage to extort payment from Brown-Forman. Screenshots posted by REvil provide a glimpse into the full scope of the breach. Internal communications, financial documents, contracts and personnel data all appear to been accessed. Speaking to Bleeping Computer, a Brown-Forman representative said “Unfortunately, we believe some information, including employee data, was impacted.” The latter is particularly concerning as it could mean that Brown-Forman employees are at increased risk for identity theft and targeted attacks against their personal online accounts.
Its comment to Bleeping Computer noted that Brown-Forman has been working closely with law enforcement and has retained the services of a data security firm “to mitigate and resolve this situation as soon as possible.” REvil believes that the company will make a “prudent” choice and agree to pay. Based on previous incidents, the group won’t hesitate to start leaking files in an attempt to force Brown-Forman’s hand. Forbes
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