UPDATED 22:50 EST / OCTOBER 11 2020

SECURITY

German tech giant Software AG hit by Clop ransomware attack

German tech giant Software AG has been hit by a ransomware attack that caused the company to suspend services.

The attack occurred Oct. 3 and has been attributed to Clop ransomware. As is typical in a ransomware attack in 2020, the company’s files were encrypted and those behind the attack demanded a ransom payment of about $20 million or they would publish internal company data.

Software AG did not pay the ransom and, according to a report on ZDNet Friday, those behind the attack have started to publish internal company information. In one screenshot, the personal details of Software AG Chief Executive Officer Sanjay Brahmawar were published, including a scan of his passport.

The company formally disclosed the ransomware attack in a statement Oct. 5, describing it as a “malware attack.” Although its current recovery status is unknown, for now the company has as its lead story on its website “important customer information.” The statement says that “due to technical issues with our online support system, we kindly ask you to send us an email with your problem description and a number for call back.” It would appear that a week later, it’s still having issues due to the ransomware attack.

Clop ransomware and the related ransomware group have been linked to previous attacks, including data being stolen from pharmaceutical industry outsourcing company ExecuPharm in April.

“Ransomware gangs are becoming bolder and more sophisticated, going after larger and more lucrative targets with their criminal attacks,” Saryu Nayyar, chief executive officer of security and risk analytics firm Gurucul Solutions Pvt Ltd A.G., told SiliconANGLE. “Even with a complete security stack and a mature security operations team, organizations can still be vulnerable. The best we can do is keep our defenses up to date, including behavioral analytics tools that can identify new attack vectors, and educate our users to reduce the attack surface.”

Dan Piazza, technical product manager at data access governance company Stealthbits Technologies Inc., noted that size doesn’t make an organization immune from ransomware attacks and indeed often make it a more vulnerable target. “An organization having deep pockets means attackers will devote vast resources towards compromising them and more employees and networks means a larger attack surface,” he said. “This also shows that threat actors are more motivated than ever and feel confident requesting exorbitant sums — likely due to past successes.”

Image: Software AG

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