Owens Group hit by ransomware: Data published

11/20/2023Cybercrime, UK

The very real threat that businesses confront in an increasingly digital environment has been hammered home once more by a ransomware cyberattack on a trucking company in the UK.

This month, a cyberattack on the Welsh company Owens Group led to the publication of its corporate data on Lockbit’s website and the “dark web.” Numerous cyberattacks across the globe have been attributed to the Lockbit malware.

Dynarisk CEO Andrew Martin stated, “If the data is posted, it usually means they didn’t pay the ransom.” Dynarisk specializes in cyber risk management. A demand of £1 million to £2 million ($1.2 million to $2.5 million), he estimated.

Owens’ data included client information (addresses, phone numbers, payment details, contracts, and other financial data), employee personal data (passport scans and contracts), and finance information (budget, cash flow, balance sheets, tax returns, project calculations, and bank statements).

Publicizing private data might “open the flood gates,” according to Mr. Martin, who spoke with The Loadstar. “Hundreds of hackers will get a hold of data when it is released on the dark web,” he issued a warning. They want to exploit the information to launch more attacks against the business, its clients, and employees.

He went on to say that other hazards included money loss, company disruption, harm to one’s reputation, and clientele loss.

Legal battles, fines, and penalties from regulations are also possible. As “it facilitates criminal activity and finances terrorism,” paying a ransom may be prohibited in the US and the EU, according to Brandon Fried, executive director of the US Airforwarders’ Association, who spoke with The Loadstar.

What can impacted organizations do now that they’re in a difficult situation?

“Prevention is key,” Mr. Fried stated.

Having anti-malware controls in place throughout the business, managing privileged access accounts, creating backups offsite or in a different part of the network and testing your ability to restore them, making sure the business has a procedure in place to update software promptly when vulnerabilities are found, and putting in place a cyber insurance policy are the five main preventive strategies that Mr. Martin outlined.

Global port operator DP World was the target of a significant cyberattack earlier this month, which resulted in about 30,000 service interruptions.

After a significant cyberattack on Nagoya in July, this was the second big attack on ports this year.

According to Project44, this emphasized the significance of “full cybersecurity training for employees, the application and upkeep of efficient cyber safety precautions, and the requirement of backup plans for manual processing during disruptions.”

When asked for comment, Owens Group did not reply.