Brazil’s BRB Bank Pays 50 BTC After Being Targeted by a Ransomware Attack

On October 3rd, Bank of Brasilia, a bank based in Brazil controlled by the government, fell victim to a ransomware attack in which a group of hackers demanded 50 BTC as a reward for not leaking their users’ data .

According to local media Tecmundo, one of the hackers named “Crydat” contacted them to inform them that the Bank had to pay the equivalent of 5.2 million Brazilian reais before 15:00 on the 6 of October

The Bank of Brasília has not officially commented on the hackers’ demands. However, the case is being investigated by the Special Police Department for the Repression of Cybercrime of the Federal Police.

Hackers used “high-end” LockBit ransomware.

According to anonymous sources interviewed by Tecnomundo, the hackers used the “LockBit” ransomware belonging to one of the largest international ransomware groups, which operates under the same name as their software. By early 2021, Lockbit had targeted nearly 350 organizations worldwide.

Source: Twitter

The LockBit ransomware group is one of the main criminal gangs dedicated to stealing information and extorting large companies, operating from the shadows since 2019. The group is currently responsible for 40% of all attacks of ransomware after the removal of the Conti group.

The group recently updated its LockBit ransomware to version 3.0. They also offer a reward program of up to $1 million (payable using the privacy-oriented cryptocurrency Zcash) to those who report vulnerabilities, improvement ideas, and other actions.

This criminal group has carried out several attacks in Mexico, Venezuela, Peru, Panama and Argentina, where they recently attacked OSDE – a health services network created in 1972, from which they extracted about 140 gigabytes of patient information , doctors and affiliates. , demanding payment of $300,000 in crypto to keep the locked data secret. However, OSDE apparently did not make the payment and the group posted all the information on its website.

In Brazil, many criminals use cryptocurrencies

Brazil is one of the Latin American countries with the most cryptocurrency scams, so much so that Brazilian justice has had to work with the FBI and CIA to strengthen their special forces and improve their monitoring techniques.

According to data published by analytics platform SonicWall, since 2021, Brazil has become one of the preferred destinations for ransomware groups. During that year, hackers managed to steal more than $33 million in bitcoins and other cryptocurrencies, placing Brazil among the top 4 countries most affected by ransomware.

Top 10 countries with the highest volume of ransomware in 2021, Source: SonicWall
Top 10 countries with the highest volume of ransomware in 2021, Source: SonicWall

Even a survey conducted by cybersecurity firm Kaspersky revealed that 56% of Brazilian companies had suffered a ransomware attack, and 80% said they would not be willing to pay a ransom.

However, 78% of organizations that have been attacked indicated that if they were attacked again, they would pay a ransom for their data. This seems to follow the general trend seen among ransomware victims in other countries.

Although it is not right to pay hackers as it would finance a criminal organization, the disclosure of personal information held by banks could financially affect millions of users. Therefore, it is difficult to weigh the scales in this case.


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