Europe’s biggest car dealer target of ransomware attack

One of Europe’s biggest car dealers, Switzerland’s Emil Frey, suffered a ransomware attack last month, according to a statement from the company.

In a statement the company said it had restored and restarted commercial activity days after the incident on 11 January 2022.

The company did not reveal any additional details about the attack, or whether any customer information had been affected during the breach.

Emil Frey is one of the leading car dealers in Europe, with some 3000 employees and $3.29 billion in sales in 2020.

The ransomware attack is understood to be related to the Hive group, which has been mentioned by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).

In August 2021, the FBI alerted Hive after the organisation lodged a series of attacks on healthcare organisations, including the Memorial Health System in the US.

Hive “uses multiple mechanisms to compromise business networks, including phishing emails with malicious attachments, to gain access and remote desktop protocol (RDP) to move laterally once on the network,” the alert stated.

“After compromising a victim network, Hive ransomware actors exfiltrate data and encrypt files on the network. The actors leave a ransom note in each affected directory within a victim’s system, which provides instructions on how to purchase the decryption software. The ransom note also threatens to leak exfiltrated victim data on the Tor site, HiveLeaks,” the alert added.

The attack on Emil Frey is the latest in a series of targeted ransomware demands by cyber criminals.

Earlier this month, we reported that the UK’s KP Snacks had been hit by a ransomware attack which may lead to a shortage of several popular crisp and nuts brands.

Popular snacks from the UK company include Skips, Nik Naks, Hula Hoops, McCoy’s crisps and the classic pub snacks, KP Nuts themselves, considered by many to be a core component of any drinking experience.

According to messages sent to local shops and published by industry news outlet Better Retailing, deliveries could face delays and cancellations up until “the end of March at the earliest”.

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