Shipping companyClarksons has fallen victim to a major ransomware attack that could result in the exposure of private data, the company warned today.
Clarksons confirmed the attack in a statement to the London Stock Exchange this morning. It claims that the attacker stole some of the company's more sensitive data and threatened to release it unless the company paid a ransom.
The company, though, has chosen not to pay up, and has warned shareholders and customers accordingly.
In a statement to the London Stock Exchange today, the company said that it has notified the police: "Clarksons has been working with data security specialists to investigate further and has notified the relevant regulatory bodies.
"Clarksons takes issues of IT security extremely seriously and continues to invest heavily to further enhance the systems and procedures it has in place.
"As part of this, the Company is continuing with a wider review of cyber security that began earlier this year and is, for example, accelerating the roll-out of various additional IT security measures."
The world's largest shipping company, founded in 1852, is alerting any customers who may have been caught up in the attack, although it hasn't given any details on the number of users affected.
The statement continued: "Our initial investigations have shown the unauthorised access was gained via a single and isolated user account which has now been disabled."
It added that it feared that the attacker behind the incident would release the data.
It is adamant, though, that hack won't affect its everyday business, and is already taking steps to ensure such an incident never happens again. However, shares have fallen by two per cent
Andi Case, the Clarksons CEO, added: "Issues of cyber security are at the forefront of many business agendas in today's digital and commercial landscape, and despite our extensive efforts we have suffered this criminal attack.
"As you would rightly expect, we're working closely with specialist police teams and data security experts to do all we can to best understand the incident and what we can do to protect our clients now and in the future.
"We hope that, in time, we can share the lessons learned with our clients to help stop them from becoming victims themselves.
"In the meantime, I hope our clients understand that we would not be held to ransom by criminals, and I would like to sincerely apologise for any concern this incident may have understandably raised."
Just last week at Computing's Security and Risk Management Summit 2017, National Crime Agency head of technology Paul Edmunds warned that ransomware was getting out of control, and added that the threat would only grow in 2018.
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