US Travel Giant Paid 414 Bitcoins in Ransom to Hackers

CWT, a US-based travel management company, has paid $4.5 million to hackers as last week following the theft of sensitive corporate information.
As reported by Reuters, hackers breached the security of more than 30,000 computers of the company and claimed to have stolen two terabytes of files, including financial reports, security documents, and even employees’ personal data.

Initially, hackers demanded $10 million in ransom, however, after negotiation, the final settlement was made at $4.5 million. The travel company transferred 414 , equivalent to that amount, to hackers’ wallet.
The hackers also pointed out that the asked ransom was much cheaper than the cost of lawsuits and also the reputational losses if the compromised information were leaked. CWT reduced the initial amount citing the impact of COVID-19 on the company’s business. 
Last year, the company reported $1.5 billion in revenue and highlighted that its clients include a third of all companies on the S&P 500 US stock index.
“We can confirm that after temporarily shutting down our systems as a precautionary measure, our systems are back online and the incident has now ceased,” CWT said in a statement.
“While the investigation is at an early stage, we have no indication that personally identifiable information/customer and traveler information has been compromised.”
The company, however, did not publicize any details of the investigation.
The meteoric rise in crypto ransoms
Crypto-related ransomware attacks have skyrocketed in the last few years, and many major companies were targeted by extorting millions.
Last month, the security of Garmin, a major fitness accessory maker, was also breached, and its several internal networks were encrypted and services were taken down. Though not officially confirmed, the company reportedly paid $10 million in ransom to the attackers to take back control of its services.
Most recently, Kaspersky Lab also warned against the , a notorious hacking group allegedly operating from North Korea, to attack operating systems including Linux, macOS, and Windows.

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