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Wednesday, February 21, 2024

Ransomware Gang in ION Trading Hack Says Ransom Was Paid

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The hacking group behind the attack on ION Trading UK — the software firm that was struck by a cyberattack earlier this week, upending derivatives trading around the world — says a ransom has been paid.

The announcement came a day before the group, called LockBit, threatened to release stolen files from ION unless the extortion payment was made. An ION representative declined to comment.

A representative for the group told Bloomberg News that the ransom was paid and that the gang provided a decryption key to unlock the compromised computers.

The representative didn’t identify who paid the money.

ION Group declined to comment on the statement. Lockbit communicated the claim to Reuters via its online chat account on Friday, February 3, but said there was “no way” it would offer details. The FBI did not immediately reply to a request for comment.

ION was earlier Friday removed from Lockbit’s extortion website, typically seen as a sign that stricken companies have forked over a ransom.

“When a victim is delisted, it most commonly means either that the victim has agreed to enter negotiations or that it has paid,” said ransomware expert Brett Callow of New Zealand-based cybersecurity company Emsisoft.

Callow said there was an outside chance that there was some other explanation for Lockbit publicly backing off.

“It may mean that ransomware gang got cold feet or decided not to proceed with the extortion for other reasons,” he said.

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