Another high profile ransomware victim

In 2020, hackers around the world have increasingly gravitated to ransomware as their preferred method of attack. This year, there have been dozens of high-profile, successful attacks on companies around the world.

Whirlpool, one of the largest home appliance manufacturers in the world, is the latest company to fall victim to this type of attack.

Hackers copy and disperse the data in a cyberattack

The company is truly one of the titans in the industry, with nearly sixty locations scattered around the world and employing nearly 80,000 people. Unfortunately, their impressive size made them a tempting target. In their case, the hackers that breached their system utilized the Nefilim ransomware strain, managing to exfiltrate a variety of sensitive data before encrypting files on a number of company servers.

It has become increasingly common for hacking groups to publish some or all of the data they steal in a bid to hurt the company they attacked, and that's precisely what happened in this case. Thus far, the leaked data has included documents relating to accommodation requests, medical information requests, background checks, employee benefits, and more.

Luckily the damage was fairly small

There's no doubting that the publication of these documents is damaging to the company, but based on Whirlpool's investigation into the matter, the scope and scale of the data breach were quite small. Only a handful of corporate servers were infected and the files that were encrypted didn't impact the company's operations in any way.

It should also be noted that the hackers who control the Nefilim strain aren't terribly active, tending to only make occasional attacks targeting larger corporations. Other recent victims include Luxottica, The Dussman Group, Orange S. A., and the Toll Group.

My perspective

At this point, all of the impacted Whirlpool servers have been fully restored, but the damage is done. It remains to be seen if the hackers behind the attack will publish more data, or if they've already released everything they stole. Stay vigilant. Your firm could be next.


Cybersecurity Expert, Small Business Technology Consultant, Managed Services Provider, Managed IT Support

By Denis Wilson

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