Hackers Demand $6.3 Million in Bitcoin from a Malaysian Media Conglomerate

Media Prima Berhad, a Malaysian media conglomerate, has fallen prey to a nasty ransomware.As reported by The Edge Markets, hackers struck on November 8 and, since then, company’s employees are denied access to the email system.

According to a recent development, the hackers are now demanding 1,000 bitcoins which is almost equivalent to US$6.3 million at the current market rates to restore the access.

Media Prima is a leading media conglomerate of Malaysia and is the name behind various TV shows, newspapers, radio programs, and other digital products and services.

As confirmed by a company employee on the condition of anonymity, “Our office email was affected, but we have migrated to G Suite. They (the attackers) demanded bitcoins, but we are not paying.” However, nothing is confirmed by the official spokesperson of Media Prima yet. It is not known if the media company is equipped with a credible backup system which can be used to reconstruct the encoded data.

The ransomware attacked the email system of the company through an infected mail. There is no official confirmation received regarding this, but it is rumoured that the media giant has already migrated to Google Docs Mail recently.

What is a Ransomware, Anyway?

For starters, ransomware is a malware which infects the system, encrypts it and demands that the victim pays a ransom to be able to regain the access. The primary goal of a ransomware is to make money from the victim, or else, victims might permanently lose the access to files.

While there have been attacks on individuals, extortionists have found it more lucrative to target businesses. Several such attacks have happened in the past. Sophos, a cybersecurity firm, has reported that the ransomware SamSam has received $6 million in Bitcoins out of targeting businesses enterprises and public bodies.

Among the organisations attacked, we have the Port of San Diego. Although the amount demanded by the hackers wasn’t revealed, the case deserved the involvement of the FBI and the U.S Department of Homeland Security.  The Professional Golfers Association (PGA) of America was recently attacked and was denied access to critical files. However, just like Media Prima, the PGA of America declined to pay the ransom too.

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Nikita Mittal

An avid technical writer with more than 8 years of experience, Nikita is an engineer by profession and writer by passion. She writes all things about the cryptocurrency and blockchain.

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