Reuters: Toshiba European Operations Suffer Ransomware Cyber Attack
The Japanese tech conglomerate Toshiba announced that its European operations suffered a ransomware cyber attack, Reuters reported. The French headquarter of the company was worst hit. Toshiba elaborated that the DarkSide, the hacking group blamed for crippling a major US pipeline company, had targeted it in a ransomware attack during the night of 4 May. The attack overshadowed an announcement of a strategic review for the conglomerate and an upbeat profit forecast.
Ransomware attacks have increased in number and amount of demands, with hackers encrypting data and seeking payment in cryptocurrency to unlock it. They increasingly release stolen data as well, or threaten to unless they are paid more. Investigators in the US Colonial case say the attack software which was similar to the one used for the Toshiba assault, was distributed by DarkSide, which includes Russian speakers and avoids hacking targets in the former Soviet Union. DarkSide lets "affiliates" hack into targets elsewhere, then handles the ransom negotiation and data release.
The French unit of Toshiba said in a statement that only a minimal amount of work data was lost during the cyber attack and no leaks of data had been detected. It said it had put protective measures in place immediately after the attack. Toshiba Tec France Imaging System also said its teams remained mobilised to deal with the situation.
Other French companies hit by cyber attacks this year include champagne company Laurent Perrier, boat maker Beneteau, and camping and van equipment maker Trigano.
Toshiba, which has had to deal with series of scandals over the past several years, said it was setting up a strategic review committee to consider ways to increase corporate value and had appointed UBS as financial adviser. The move follows a $20 billion offer from CVC Capital to take the conglomerate private that Toshiba has said lacked substance. Toshiba forecast a strong 63% rise in annual operating profit to $1.6 billion after pandemic-induced pain in the last year and as restructuring measures bear fruit. For the year just ended, Toshiba posted a 20% slide in operating profit.
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