Inside money, markets, and Big Tech

This article was published on November 29, 2019


Bitcoin ransomware forces Spanish security firm Prosegur offline

Bitcoin ransomware forces Spanish security firm Prosegur offline
Yessi Bello Perez
Story by

Yessi Bello Perez

Former Senior Writer, Growth Quarters

Spanish multinational security firm Prosegur has been hit by Ryuk ransomware, the notorious Trojan virus that encrypts files on a compromiseddevice and typically demands payment in Bitcoin to decrypt them.

As a result of the attack, the company, which reportedly employs 170,000 people across the globe, has shut down its IT network and its employees were reportedly sent home.

The firm, which is credited as being one of the world’s biggest provider of armored vehicles to transport cash, said on Twitter that it had taken “maximum security measures” to avoid propagating the ransomware both internally and externally.

Kevin Beaumont, a cybersecurity researcher, said on Twitter that the measures had had a knock-on effect on customers.

However, Prosegur’s website was up and running at press time.

Ryuk’s reach

This strand of ransomware has been reeking havoc for months.

It’s targeted several USstate and local governments, and hospitals. Earlier this month, Hard Fork reported, on how 110 nursing homes in the US had also fallen victim to it.

Although victims are typically advised not to pay the requested ransom, figures from earlier this year suggest that Ryuk had collected more than 705BTC in just five months — approximately worth $3.7 million at the time.

In fact, Ryuk is held responsible for the 90-percent uptick in cryptocurrency ransomware payments.

As always, protection is better than a cure. Do everything you can to ensure your network is protected.

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