German tire manufacturer Continental said on Tuesday, November 15 it was investigating the theft of company data in a cyber attack. But they declined to comment on media reports that hackers had sold the information on the darknet.
The tire and auto parts maker said its investigation was moving forward with the highest priority. Last week it was reported that a cyberattack reported in August resulted in some data being stolen from the company.
Earlier on Tuesday, the Handelsblatt business daily reported that hackers had published a list of data on the darknet and that included budget plans, investments and strategies, as well as information relating to several Continental customers.
A hacker group called LockBit is rumored to have stolen 40 terabytes of data. The theft will be a very large amount, because the complete outgoing data flow usually has to be stopped by technical security measures. Moreover, according to a leak, the attackers are said to have extorted ransom money from the German tire company.
According to media reports, the company basically confirmed the attack, but would not comment on the details. “Continental has launched an investigation into the incident with the support of external cybersecurity experts,” a spokesperson said, as quoted by spiegel.de.
Handelsblatt said the hackers had sold the data for $50 million after Continental “apparently refused to pay the ransom”.
Previously the hacker group LockBit has also caused quite a stir. At that time, they announced that they had hacked the large French defense company, Thales Group. LockBit is one of the most active and dangerous ransomware gangs as mentioned by the German Federal Criminal Police Office.
The European Union itself is currently enacting a law that prohibits any party from paying ransoms to hackers. It is hoped that this regulation will reduce ransomware hacking actions.