MediaMarkt, Europe’s largest electronics retailer, has reportedly been hit by a Hive ransomware attack with demands to pay $50 million in bitcoin.
- Following the attack on Sunday, the attackers were initially demanding a ransom payment of $240 million, Bleeping Computer reported Monday.
- A subsequent report by retail news site RetailDetail said the amount had been reduced to $50 million, with payment demanded in bitcoin.
- The attack by the Hive ransomware group encrypted MediaMarkt’s servers, causing the retailer to shut down its IT systems to prevent further problems. That caused many stores, mainly in the Netherlands, to be unable to accept credit and debit card payments.
- Germany-based MediaMarkt has more than 1,000 stores across the continent.
- Recent research by the U.S. Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) found that payments linked to ransomware attacks this year have amounted to $590 million so far, already exceeding the total for all of 2020. It isn’t clear what proportion of those transactions involve crypto.
- Hive’s modus operandi involves gaining access to a network to steal encrypted files, while also deleting backups to prevent the target from being able to recover their data. Hive has also been known to steal files and publish them on its data leaks site unless a ransom is paid, according to Bleeping Computer’s report.
The leader in news and information on cryptocurrency, digital assets and the future of money, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. CoinDesk is an independent operating subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which invests in cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups.