A European bank has become the latest victim of ransom attacks, as customers are now faced with paying 10 percent of their balances or having their personal data exposed.
The attack is affecting the Liechtenstein operations of Swiss Bank Valartis, recently acquired by Hong Kong-based Citychamp Watch & Jewellery Group Ltd.
Customers threatened directly
Valartis, which only recently received the all clear to operate in neighboring Switzerland following liquidity problems, has only given limited information on the situation.
“We’ve alerted the authorities and are communicating with them,” German newspaper Bild am Sonntag quotes CEO Andreas Insam as saying.
The origins of the hackers are not known, but their plans strike a familiar tone: pay out funds or face personal transaction data being shared with authorities and media organs.
This time, however, customers themselves are being directly threatened. Valartis counts ‘high-end’ clients among its user base, which includes “politicians, actors and high net worth individuals,” Bild am Sonntag reports.
Similarities to other cash-for-Bitcoin-style attacks are numerous, coming at a time when lax cybersecurity practices in business worldwide are under the spotlight.
Banks have also had a tough few months, most recently with UK-based Tesco Bank losing funds from around 40 thousand accounts overnight earlier in November.