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BCAW Day 4 – Colonial Pipeline Confirms Ransom Payment

In a very rare move, the CEO of Colonial Pipeline has confirmed that the company paid a $4.4m ransom to the criminal gang who targeted the company.  Whilst survey data suggests that many companies do pay ransoms, it is almost unprecedented for a business leader to be so candid about the issue.  Acknowledging that is was a very difficult and uncomfortable decision to make; he concluded that “it was the right thing to do for the country”.

It is reported that the Irish Health Service is slowly restoring services after the significant cyber-attack last week; having made very clear their commitment not to pay any ransom.  But, just as they were starting to recover, New Zealand’s Waikato District Health Board was hit with a strain of ransomware that took down most of its IT services on Tuesday morning.

Meanwhile, there is speculation that a recent spate of cyber-attacks on Axa Insurance subsidiaries in Asia is linked to the recent announcement that the company will stop buying off criminals.  Two weeks ago Axa announced that it will no longer sell policies which reimburse policy holders for ransom payments, in an attempt to slow the rapid growth in the ransomware industry.  Whilst the move applies only in France, some commentators have suggested a link with the attacks in Asia.