UPDATED 22:20 EST / APRIL 30 2019

9653286997_d9529cd955_z SECURITY

Data stolen from IT firm that works with Oracle, SAP and others

A German information technology firm that works with some of the world’s largest companies was hacked and then blackmailed, according to a report by Motherboard.

The company hacked, Citycomp GmbH, provides multivendor maintenance and infrastructure services to a range of companies with a client list that includes Airbus SE, Volkswagen AG, Oracle Corp., Toshiba Corp., SAP AG and Porsche AG.

The hack involved the theft of customer data in early April and those behind the data theft demanded a ransom of $5,000 to prevent the release of the stolen materials. Data stolen is said to include names, email addresses and phone numbers along with notes of meetings with clients and IT equipment inventories, including model numbers, specifications and serial numbers

The ransom was not paid and the hackers, one who goes by the name of Boris according to The Register, have since released the data on the dark web. The hackers claim to be in possession of “312,570 files in 51,025 folders, over 516GB data financial and private information on all clients.”

A spokesperson for Citycomp said the company does not pay ransom demands and that it had been fully transparent with its clients. It added that it had the full support of its clients not to cave in to blackmail.

Still, Dan Tuchler, chief marketing officer at SecurityFirst Corp., told SiliconANGLE that the damage is done and Citycomp and its customers have taken a blow to their reputations.

“Organizations need to not only ensure that their data is secure but also take steps to evaluate the security posture of their suppliers,” Tuchler said. “This is not easy but is vitally important. Suppliers must be ready to demonstrate that they have locked their critical data, provided access controls and done a thorough security audit.”

Warren Poschman, a senior solutions architect with comforte AG, said the data breach underscores that data theft for ransom isn’t dead and won’t be anytime soon.

“Although in most other regions outside of Latin America the focus is instead on ransomware as an attack, and theft of data is typically associated with identity theft or credit card fraud, mayhem and good old extortion are real-world threats,” Poschman said. “Organizations looking to ensure that their data is protected regardless of its location or possession should look to adopt a data-centric security model which ensures that no matter where the data is stored, moved, used or even lost, it is protected and secure – something that could have likely made the Citycomp breach a nonevent.”

Photo: 29233640@N07/Flickr

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