LUXURY JEWELERS GRAFF PAID $7.5MILLION IN RANSOM TO STOP A DATA LEAK
It has been revealed that luxury British jelewers Graff paid $7.5million in ransom to a Russian hacking company to prevent it from leaking information about its high-profile clients...
According to a London lawsuit Graff Diamonds Corp paid the sum of $7.5 million in Bitcoin to the hacking company Conti last September after it leaked data on both Oprah Winfrey and David Beckham as well as members of the Saudi, UAE and Qatar royal families all prominent clients of the high society jewelers. The gang also published a further 69,000 other confidential documents, including customer lists, invoices, receipts, and credit notes, claiming this represented just one percent of the stolen files.
It is alleged that initially the hackers demanded $15million but settled on Graff’s offer of half to a Bitcoin wallet at the time this amounted to 118 Bitcoins, however since then the value of Bitcoin has plummeted with 118 Bitcoins today now only worth just over $2million.
It is clear Graff values it's clients data “The criminals threatened targeted publication of our customers’ private purchases,” a Graff spokesperson said. “We were determined to take all possible steps to protect their interests and so negotiated a payment which successfully neutralized that threat.”
To claw back their losess Graff turned to their insurers Travelers Companies Inc believing that the extortion would be covered under their policy, however Travelers is refusing to pay. According to a spokesperson speaking to Bloomberg, Graff is "extremely frustrated and disappointed by Travelers' attempt to avoid settlement of this insured risk and have left us with no option but to bring these recovery proceedings at the High Court."
Unfortunately cyber attacks and digital asset fraud is a growing concern for both government officials and businesses with illicit transaction activity reaching an all-time high of $14 billion in 2021, up 79% year-on-year (2020: $7.8 billion) according to A&M's Disputes and Investigations
Neither the insurance company’s representatives nor its lawyers have commented on the case.