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.
CoinDesk is an award-winning media outlet that covers the cryptocurrency industry. Its journalists abide by a strict set of editorial policies. In November 2023, CoinDesk was acquired by the Bullish group, owner of Bullish, a regulated, digital assets exchange. The Bullish group is majority-owned by Block.one; both companies have interests in a variety of blockchain and digital asset businesses and significant holdings of digital assets, including bitcoin. CoinDesk operates as an independent subsidiary with an editorial committee to protect journalistic independence. CoinDesk offers all employees above a certain salary threshold, including journalists, stock options in the Bullish group as part of their compensation.