Ransomware attacks have become quite prevalent in the online space and attackers have been targeting major corporations and demanding huge ransoms in return for a company’s own data. Japanese gaming giant Capcom, the company behind major gaming titles like Street Fighter and Resident Evil, underwent a similar attack earlier this month, with the attackers demanding a heft ransom of $11 million in Bitcoin.
Per a November 4 press release, the company underwent the attack on early November 2 and “certain systems” including the company’s email and file servers. However, the company had then noted that no customer information was lost, the release stated. The company has been consulting with local authorities regarding the investigation into the attack.
However, a Tuesday report from Nikkei Japan stated that the attacker was actually a group calling themselves “RAGNAR LOCKER”. The group managed to download over 1 terabyte of sensitive information from Capcom servers, including personal information of employees and customers as well.
The attackers have reportedly requested the company to contact the organization by 8:00 AM (Japan time) on Nov 11, to pay the ransom amount in return for not leaking the information on the dark web.
Asahi Shimbun, a Japanese media organization, also reported on November 9 that some of the company’s internal servers and systems were infected by ransomware, and some company operations had to be suspended. It is yet to be seen how the story unfolds.
Ransomware attacks on the rise
The main objective of a Ransomware is to restrict user access and encrypt sensitive user data. This allows Ransomware creators to demand ransoms from the victims and others to lift the restrictions.
2020 has seen a plethora of similar attacks where cyber criminals demand ransom in Bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies. According to blockchain and cryptoanalysis firm Chainalysis, the average amount sent to ransomware addresses increased more than tenfold between 2015 and 2019.
As the Daily Chain reported, the Texas school district attack saw the Athens ISD board of trustees paying a ransom of $50,000 in cryptocurrencies after ransomware encrypted all of the data stored on district servers, including “a few hundred” computers and multiple data backups.
On June 30, The University of California at San Francisco School of Medicine had to pay $1.14 million (116.4 Bitcoin) in ransom after a similar attack.According to security firm CheckPoint, ransomware attacks have increased by 50 percent in the past three months.