Attacked by Black Basta, BankCard USA paid ransom.
Marco A. De Felice of SuspectFile (aka @amvinfe) reports that BankCard USA (BUSA) recently paid the Black Basta ransomware group $50,000 ransom. But if BUSA hoped to keep the breach and payment out of the public eye, they should sit down before they read SuspectFile’s reporting, because it is going to make them sad.
BankCard USA provides end-to-end electronic payment products and services to more than 100,000 American companies. As described by SuspectFile, for about a month, the merchant services provider and Black Basta went back and forth in their negotiations, with BUSA’s negotiator demanding a series of guarantees from Black Basta and offering the ransomware group payment of less than 10% than what was being demanded to delete what the threat actors claimed was 200 GB of files they had exfiltrated.
Although Black Basta assured their victim that there would be “No publication of any kind” if they paid, SuspectFile noted that clearly was not true. “If we are writing this article it is precisely because both the name of the BankCard USA and some financial documents and passports have been public for over a month,” they report.
In its reporting, SuspectFile includes several files from BankCard USA and a portion of a file tree. The files have all been redacted by SuspectFile but demonstrate what others could also have read and acquired during the negotiations. De Felice writes:
Paying in the hope that your name, your data will never be brought to light is mere utopia. SuspectFile.com had access to the chat from day one and we certainly had hundreds of other people who were able to follow the evolution of the negotiation live.
BankCard USA is nothing more than one of the latest victims to fall into the network of a group of cybercriminals whose main objective is to monetize their work, at any cost and by any means.
SuspectFile also raises a number of questions:
At this point we ask ourselves some questions: were the thousands of files that were (still are?) in the hands of Black Basta for over a month really deleted?
Has BankCard USA notified its customers, employees and the state of California of the massive loss of sensitive data?
Or do they think it’s enough to give in to blackmail and pay cybercriminals to hide all this?
There has been no notice from BankCard USA posted on the California Attorney General’s site even though BUSA knew about the breach for about a month (based on SuspectFile’s reporting).
Read more about the incident and negotiations at SuspectFile.
DataBreaches sent an email query to BankCard USA about whether they have notified any customers or regulators. No reply has been received by publication.