One of the top earning travel companies, CWT (formerly known as Carlson Wagonlit Travel), has paid a $4.5 million in bitcoins to hackers who managed to steal sensitive corporate files and compromised 30,000 computers offline, Reuters has learned.
The hackers reportedly used a ransomware called Ragnar Locker, that encrypts computer files and makes it impossible to use them until the victim pays the ransom.
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A CWT representative confirmed the incident had been ceased after a short shut down.
"While the investigation is at an early stage, we have no indication that personally identifiable information/customer and traveller information has been compromised," the representative told Reuters.
CWT said it had already informed US law enforcement and European data protection authorities.
Initially, the hackers demanded $10 million to give back access to CWT’s files and delete all the stolen data.
However, CWT told hackers the company had been seriously hit by the COVID-19 pandemic and agreed to pay $4.5 million in BTC.
Last year, a research study by ProPublica discovered that the majority of ransomware solutions providers have one unusual trick for getting rid of cyber criminals — paying them off the cryptocurrency.
Previously, iHodl reported that the FBI, IRS, and the US Secret Service had arrested a 17-year-old boy named Graham Clark in Tampa, Florida for alleged role in the recent Twitter's hack.
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