BlackCat Ransomware Group targets Seiko Watch Japan

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ALPHV Ransomware, also known as the BlackCat Ransomware group, has recently directed their cyber attack towards Seiko, a renowned Japanese watch manufacturer. This attack has caused a certain level of disruption to Seiko’s production operations and has led to the compromise of a portion of their data.

Seiko, the prominent producer of watches, has confirmed the authenticity of the incident. The breach is believed to have occurred sometime in the last week of July, but it was only on August 2nd, 2023, that the company’s IT staff managed to identify and address the situation.

With a workforce exceeding 12,000 employees and an impressive annual revenue of $1.3 billion, Seiko has initiated a thorough investigation into the matter. The company is unequivocal in its stance, making it clear that it will not entertain any ransom demands from the group responsible for encrypting their files, in this case, BlackCat Ransomware.

To exert pressure on their target, the BlackCat group has released a selection of sample data. This data includes confidential Seiko watch designs and technical information about semiconductors. Such information, previously held in high regard, could potentially serve as a goldmine for competitors and those involved in producing imitation gadgets. These counterfeit items are commonly traded on illegal black markets in Singapore and Malaysia, particularly during the months spanning from September to December each year.

Seiko Group Corporation boasts a rich history as one of the world’s oldest watchmakers. It made history by introducing quartz wristwatches to the global market in 1969. The company has a strong presence in New Jersey, USA, and has been actively engaged in sponsoring various sports events across the United States.

Interestingly, Seiko has been extending its support to Ukraine amidst its conflict with Russia. Given this backdrop, the recent cyber attack could potentially be attributed to a group of hackers fluent in Russian. This group may have affiliations with ALPHV, also known as Noberus. Notorious for engaging in triple extortion campaigns, launching denial of service attacks, and profiting from the sale of stolen data, this group has a track record of such malicious activities.

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Naveen Goud is a writer at Cybersecurity Insiders covering topics such as Mergers & Acquisitions, Startups, Cyber Attacks, Cloud Security and Mobile Security

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