Italian Banking Association latest ransomware target

Associazone Bancaria Italiana (ABI), the Italian banking association, has revealed that it was recently the victim of a ransomware attack, as this form of cyber warfare continues apace.

Hackers stole and are understood to have later published some sensitive data relating to the association’s employees.

The attack was carried out by the group called the Vice Society, which is understood to have emerged around mid-2021.

Among the data obtained by the Vice Society, dating back to 18 April, were identity cards and health cards of ABI employees and information on their credit cards as well as medical certificates and some company telephone numbers.

The publication of the documents was confirmed by the ABI, which in a statement said it had been subject to cyber-attacks since February.

On 7 April, the association’s website was inaccessible for several hours. “The complaints have been presented to the Postal Police and the competent Authorities,” the ABI said in a statement.

“The association has already activated all actions for its own protection and that of personnel data and has taken all measures to further secure the infrastructures and data”.

The trade body said it had received no ransom demands from criminals.

The attack on Italy’s ABI comes security experts continue to warn western nations that there are growing concerns Russia will launch a series of cyber-attacks in retaliation against support for Ukraine, as recent figures report a 100% increase in ransomware attacks in the UK.

The number of ransomware attacks reported to the Information Commissioner’s Office increased 100% from 326 in 2020 to 654 in 2021, according to analysis of data conducted by law firm RPC, which were released today.

RPC said the rise is likely driven by the increasing profitability of ransomware attacks, which can severely hinder, if not bring a business’ operations to a standstill. As a result, a number of corporates have been forced to pay a ransom in order to have their data decrypted.

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