Acer Hit by a $50 Million Ransomware Demand: Should You Worry? 

Attackers might have gained access to the company’s data via a Microsoft Exchange vulnerability.

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Tech and Auto
3 min read
Hackers hit computer maker Acer with $50mn ransomware attack.
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Computer tech giant Acer has been allegedly attacked by a ransomware attack where the hackers are demanding $50 million from the company, suggested several media reports.

According to a report by Bleeping Computer, the cyberespionage group dubbed as ‘REvil’ announced that they had breached Acer and shared several images of the allegedly stolen files as a proof.

The report further suggests that the attackers might have gained access to the company’s data via a Microsoft Exchange vulnerability.

Sharing his thoughts, Cyber security researcher, Sourajeet Majumder told The Quint, “Yes they have put up screenshots to prove their claim and the Dark Web site allegedly belongs to a notorious hacker group who is behind the ‘REvil’ ransomware and they have earlier targeted multiple famous personalities like Donald Trump, Lady Gaga, Madonna alongside many popular organisations.”

How Does This Affect You?

“Acer being a multinational company operates in India as well. Among the images of the allegedly stolen files that the "REvil" has put up on their site as proofs I could find at least four images that are related to Acer India Pvt Ltd and that is what worries me,” Majumder told The Quint.

These four images mainly contain some bank communications, bank balance records, and bank transfer records.

“It is yet unknown if any client data, especially of Indians, were compromised during this breach, but if this happened then it is really something to be worried about since ‘REvil’ is one of the most notorious cyber criminal gang and there are many past instances where they have dumped sensitive data when their demands were not fulfilled. I expect Acer India to look into this entire incident asap and provide us some clarity over the potential client data breach”.
Sourajeet Majumder, Cyber Security Researcher

Are You at a Risk if You Own an Acer Device?

Majumder informed that users should not worry if they own an Acer device. “No, if you own an Acer gadget you are not directly at a risk due to the ransomware attack, but in case any data related to Acer India's clients (Example : Purchase records) were compromised during this breach, then there are chances that your name, phone number, address and maybe even some bank details, are at stake. However, this threat can only be confirmed once Acer India provides us with details related to this attack,” he said.

What Can You Do?

In cases like this where an organisation gets hit by a ransomware attack, there is not much we can do. It is Acer that needs to investigate this attack and plan incident management steps to create a safe environment for themselves as well as their clients, if they are at risk.

“All we can do is maintain the best cyber security practices and wait for Acer to provide us with more details on the breach as soon as possible, so that we know to what extent our data has been compromised if at all, so that we can plan further steps to protect ourselves,” he asserted.

Acer Responds

In a statement Acer said that it is constantly under attack, and have reported recent abnormal situations.

“Acer routinely monitors its IT systems, and most cyberattacks are well defended. Companies like us are constantly under attack, and we have reported recent abnormal situations observed, to the relevant law enforcement and data protection authorities in multiple countries,” the statement read.

The spokesperson further said that it wont be possible to comment on any further details as “there is an ongoing investigation and for the sake of security”.

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