Chip maker Advantech hit by Conti ransomware gang

Pierluigi Paganini November 28, 2020

The IIoT chip maker Advantech was hit by the Conti ransomware, the gang is now demanding over $13 million ransom from the company.

The Conti ransomware gang hit infected the systems of industrial automation and Industrial IoT (IIoT) chip maker Advantech and is demanding over $13 million ransom (roughly 750 BTC) to avoid leaking stolen files and to provide a key to restore the encrypted files.

Advantech has 8,000 employees worldwide and has reported a yearly sales revenue of over $1.7 billion in 2019.

The ransomware gang announced on November 21, 2020 the leak of stolen data if the chipmaker would not have paid the ransom within the next day.

As proof of the capability to restore the data, Conti ransomware operators are willing to decrypt two of the encrypted files.

On November 26, the ransomware operators began leaking the data stolen from Advantech, an archive of 3.03GB that accounts for 2% of the total amount of stolen data.

According to Bleeping Computer, the Conti ransomware gang also promised to remove any backdoors from the company’s network after the payment of the ransom. The operators also announced that the stolen data will be permanently removed from its servers and it will provide security tips on how to secure the network to prevent future infections.

Conti ransomware operators implement a private Ransomware-as-a-Service (RaaS), the malware appeared in the threat landscape at the end of December 2019 and was distributed through TrickBot infections.

Since August 2020, the group launched its leak site to threaten its victim to release the stolen data.

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Pierluigi Paganini

(SecurityAffairs – hacking, Advantech)

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