Travelex Currency Exchange Hackers Demand Bitcoin Ransom of $3 Million

Travelex Currency Exchange has become the latest victim of ransomware Sodinokibi. The Travelex Currency Exchange Hackers have demanded $ 3 million in bitcoin.  

08 January, 2020 | AtoZ Markets – Where 2019 just ended with lots of major hacks, 2020 started off immediately with another major hack in the financial markets. This time the British currency exchange site Travelex has gone dark due to a ransomware infection following a network breach. According to the BBC, the hackers launched the attack on New Year’s Eve, forcing the company to shut down its systems and websites. Travelex is present in 70 countries with its online fiat exchange service and currency exchange counters

Hackers Did not Breach Travelex’s Customer’s Data

The attackers had scheduled to hit the company while employees were on vacation. Travelex has 1,200 branches worldwide, most of which now operate manually. However, Travelex’s Twitter feed indicated that the company took down its websites to “protect data and prevent the spread of the virus”. Unlike the BitMex email data leak debacle in November, where the customers data were leaked, Travelex reassured the public that no private data of customers were compromised. 

The London-headquartered company is currently in talks with the National Crime Agency (NCA), the Metropolitan Police and other global regulators, for criminal investigation. Tony D’Souza, managing director of Travelex, also reassured that there is no evidence of data breach or theft despite the locking of its systems. He added:

“Our priority is to communicate directly with our partners and customers to protect them and their information from further compromise”.

Read More: SEC Releases List of 2020 Crypto Examination Priorities

Travelex Currency Exchange Hackers Demand Bitcoin Ransom

Many media sources claim that the attackers are seeking $3 million as the extortion amount. However, Travelex has not confirmed this yet in public. Online media sources reported that the hackers targeted computers containing confidential information, such as customer names and bank account and transaction details. These computers were infected with malware which added a random character string to the end of each encrypted file.

A string of other UK-based companies dependent on Travelex’s foreign exchange services include:

  • Sainsbury’s Bank
  • Barclays
  • HSBC
  • Virgin Money
  • First Direct
  • Asda Money

The Travelex currency exchange hack also impacted these companies and its clients. Since the hack caused locked out hundreds of customers around the world from the app. Other implications were that they are unable to access funds or transact with Travelex currency cards. 

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