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Portugal’s energy giant Energias de Portugal (EDP) fell victim to a ransomware attack this week, with hackers threatening to leak more than 10 terabytes of sensitive company information unless the firm pays the equivalent of US$11 million in bitcoin.
“We had downloaded more than 10TB of private information from EDP group servers,” said the attackers who are using the Ragnar Locker ransomware to extort the Portuguese energy giant for money, BleepingComputer reports.
The cyber attackers have posted a note for EDP saying they had stolen information about clients, transactions, and contracts, among others, and had encrypted the systems of the company, BleepingComputer has found.
EDP operates in 19 countries on four continents and employs more than 11,500 people. The company is the world’s fourth-largest wind energy producer, and nearly 66 percent of its energy is produced from renewable sources, it says on its website.
This is not the first time an energy company has been held to ransom by cyber attackers.
At the end of last year, Mexico’s state oil firm Pemex was hit by a ransomware attack, which caused administrative operations at the company to grind to a halt, but work was restored soon after.
The incident highlighted once again the growing importance of cybersecurity in the oil and gas industry and all its critical infrastructure across the globe.
Pemex has no intention of paying the ransom that cyber attackers have requested, Mexico’s Energy Minister and Pemex board chair Rocio Nahle said a day later after the ransomware attack. The attackers had demanded they be paid US$5 million in ransom in bitcoin, according to various media reports at the time.
At the beginning of this year, industrial cybersecurity firm Dragos said in a new report that threats of cyber attacks on North America’s electric network systems are growing. Dragos said it had identified two groups, Magnallium and Xenotime, which are increasingly probing to compromise electric assets in North America, expanding their targeting from the oil and gas sector to include electric assets.
By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com
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Tsvetana is a writer for Oilprice.com with over a decade of experience writing for news outlets such as iNVEZZ and SeeNews.