Royal Mail refused to pay ‘absurd’ LockBit ransom, chat logs say

Carly Page reports:

The LockBit ransomware gang has published what it claims is the full transcript of its negotiations with Royal Mail, which continues to experience disruption due to last month’s cyberattack.

The chat logs negotiating the ransom is the first data that LockBit has published following the cyberattack on Royal Mail, which left the British postal service unable to dispatch certain items overseas. This is despite the Russia-linked ransomware gang’s earlier threats to publish all stolen data on February 9. The logs appear to suggest that this is the day that negotiations between LockBit and Royal Mail came to an end.

Read more at TechCrunch.

Once again, we see chat logs where negotiators try to explain to ransomware negotiators that they do not have the revenue the threat actors claim they have and cannot possibly pay the enormous ransom demanded. DataBreaches reported chat logs from Conti’s negotiations with Broward School District where Conti had demanded $60 million from a public school district.

In this case, the negotiator claims that they are only a subsidiary of Royal Mail and that an $80 million ransom is an “absurd” amount.

As we informed you, we have a response from our board to provide you. Under no circumstances will we pay you the absurd amount of money you have demanded. We have repeatedly tried to explain to you we are not the large entity you have assumed we are, but rather a smaller subsidiary without the resources you think we have. But you continue to refuse to listen to us. This is an amount that could never be taken seriously by our board.

LockBit subsequently reduced the demand, but not more than they usually discount during negotiations.

Will LockBit leak Royal Mail’s data? Probably. Would Royal Mail have paid them if the demand had been much smaller? Possibly. We’ll never know now.

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