Ransomware: Cyber Criminals Launch an Attack on A Famous US Liquor Company With Ransomware

Ransomware – regardless of the size of the company, no one is protected from a cyber-attack. For those of you who don’t know who Brown-Forman is, they are a US multi-billion-dollar parent company who own the well-known spirit brand Jack Daniel’s whiskey amongst other global brands.

In recent news, Brown-Forman has been the latest high-profile victim of a ransomware attack that is rumoured to be the result of notorious cyber criminals known as REvil or the Sodinokibi gang.

The infamous REvil group are a generation of “new wave” cyber criminals who’s three-step strategy ends in double-barrelled blackmail. Here is how they operate their menacing master plan:

Breaking and entering – not the physical kind, but the digital kind. These are highly intelligent cyber criminals who have obtained the skills to hack their victim’s network and grant themselves system admin level access without being noticed. They will then scope the victim’s sensitive data on their servers, hunt for online backups and inject system administration tools that can be exploited when they come to attack later. They then tamper with system security settings and create a set of ‘mini-attacks’ using malware to test which methods are successful at striking the main system.

Just like a thief, they steal – we’re not talking jewellery or cars, we’re talking sensitive data and lots of it. In the Brown-Forman attack, the cyber criminals claimed to have stolen 1 terabyte of data spanning back over the past 10 years.

Encryption is key (for them) – just when you think it cannot get any worse, the cyber criminals encrypt as many files as possible on the network using a clever scrambling algorithm that they hold the key for. The aim of this is to cause maximum disruption in minimum time.

Luckily for Brown-Forman they managed to prevent step 3 of the attack so didn’t have to go offline which would have caused a detrimental impact on the business.

How does this relate to my business? Anyone can be a victim of cybercrime – companies large or small and in the majority of cases, the aim of a ransomware attack is to steal data. If the breach is successful, not only is your business now a victim of a cybercrime but it also means your business has failed to protect data that it was meant to protect – this could be staff, customers or company data.

Prevention, prevention, prevention – we really mean that! Cyber security is one of the most important IT systems that all businesses should have in place. It is crucial. But don’t worry, if you don’t have a system in place or are concerned your present practices may not be robust enough, we can help you. Visit our dedicated cyber security page for more details or contact our experts today to arrange a meeting.

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