Who can be a bigger target for a ransomware attack than a company which deals entirely with the resale of sensitive personal and corporate data? This was certainly the case when a Toronto company — ESC Corporate Services—was ravaged by a ransomware.
The cybercriminals from the attack blackmailed the company to pay money for ransomware removal or risk losing all of their data. To date, there has been no news about any ransom payment. It has been learned that the attack managed to render the organization’s systems unusable for more than 7 days. The systems of ESC are linked with the records portal of the Government of Ontario. The data at hands is associated with those who have leased vehicles or incorporated companies.
A spokesperson from the company, Shea Haverstock, confirmed the news about the attack and explained that they were contacted to provide money for ransomware removal in the form of the decryption keys, which could decrypt the locked data. Moreover, he stated that so far the organization is engaged in performing forensic investigations. There has been no decision to contact the police.
Post-attack, a note from ESC appeared on the company website where it used the word “system outage” to explain its unavailability. The note announced that the company was able to successfully solve the “outage” issue. There were no further details to suggest methods or processes which may have been used for ransomware removal.
There had been an air of uncertainty in the industry due to the sensitivity of data. However, both ESC and the provincial government are adamant that no data fell into the wrong hands.
From the provincial government’s side, an official said that the province’s administration has been aware of this attack and has been analyzing the aftermath carefully. To combat such situations in the future, the government has resolved to strengthen its cybersecurity defense.