Sunday 02 October 2022

Ransomware hackers release 39,000 internal government files

Illustration: Depositphotos.com

A technology firm that handles sensitive documents for Dutch police, emergency services and security has been targeted by hackers, the Volkskrant reported on Monday.

A total of 39,000 documents, including ID documents and invoices, were leaked online after the company, Abiom, refused to comply with a demand by ransomware group LockBit.

The Volkskrant said confidential communications with foreign documents were released along with police invoices worth millions of euros and details of equipment used by the defence department.

Abiom also provides data services to the justice ministry, the navy, hospitals, the tax service and regional security councils.

Matthijs Koot, security expert at IT specialist Secura, said the attack represented a new tactic by ransomware operators. Instead of locking private data, they threaten to make secure information public in order to damage the reputation of their victims.

‘If these sorts of details are published on ransomware sites, then by definition you have lost your claim to confidentiality,’ he said. ‘You have to assume that sensitive data is still in circulation.’

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