South Korean company agrees to pay record amount of ransom to hackers

The CEO of the affected South Korean company says that "now I am bankrupt".

A South-Korean web-hosting firm Nayana has agreed to pay a record amount of ransom to get their frozen computers unlocked. The firm has reportedly agreed to pay a massive $1 million to the hackers. However, it should be noted that ransom payments, in most of the cases, are never made public.

Nayan's Chief Executive Officer Hwang Chilghong has revealed the information that the hackers had originally demanded $4.4 million in bitcoins, as ransom, reported BBC.

According to BBC, the Director of the Institute in the Science of Cyber-Security, Angela Sasse said that she was surprised both by the amount of the ransom and the fact that the company actually made the entire thing public.

"This is a record ransom from what I know, although some will have paid and not gone public. It could be that it had to disclose the amount under the South Korean regulatory structure or it could have been done out of a sense of public duty," she said. "From the attackers' point of view, they might have preferred that the firm kept quiet. It is such a large ransom that it might spur a lot of companies to look more carefully at their security," Sasse added.

The ransomware in question is called Erebus. It has targeted all the systems that were running Microsoft Windows. Not only that, the ransomware was further modified so that, a variant could work against Linux-based computers.

Nayana entered into a negotiation with the hackers and the managed to lower the amount of ransom to $500,000. But, at the last minute before confirming the amount, the cyber criminals doubled the fee to $1 million.

The hackers are now believed to have gotten hold of encrypted data on 153 Linux servers and 3,400 customer websites, reported BBC.

Nayana's CEO Chilghong posted apologies on the company website for the sudden "shock and damage" of th, incident.

In an earlier statement he had said that the attack has hit his bank balance. "Now I am bankrupt. Everything I've been working on for 20 years is expected to disappear at 12:00 tomorrow."

Related topics : Ransomware