SIAE (Italian Society of Authors and Publishers) hit by ransomware; threat actors claim they were in the network for 6 months

If you are interested in ransomware attacks or other attacks on Italian entities, you should bookmark  Marco A. De Felice generally publishes in Italian, but machine translations are usually very clear — and if there is something you don’t understand, Marco is happy to explain how things work in Italy if you hit him up on Twitter @amvinfe or email him at his web site.

This past week, Marco has been reporting — and updating — an attack by Everest on SIAE (the Italian Society of Authors and Publishers). It turns out that that organization collects and stores more personal information than I would have thought for a copyright protection organization because the authors have to provide documentation that may include their tax code information on health insurance cards or other identity cards.

When SIAE did not agree to pay ransom, Everest did what these groups often do — they started dumping data to increase pressure on their victim.  SuspectFile reported:

Further confirmation that we can give is that among the 2 GB of documents published in the TOR network there are passports, identity cards, health cards, telephone numbers, emails, personal addresses, IBAN codes of many Italian artists of entertainment, music, of the theater, many of which are famous not only in Italy.

The threat actor(s) also offered to sell all of the data they had exfiltrated for a one-time sale of $500,000.

Reports that they were contacting individual authors or artists to try to extort them to pay ransom were denied by Everest.

SuspectFile will continue to update this story as they have made contact with Everest, who seems willing to answer their questions. One of the details SuspectFile exclusively reported was Everest’s comments on accessing SIAE:

Everest replied that their stay in the computer systems lasted 6 months, therefore a considerable time that certainly allowed them to have full access to all the documentation present in the databases and to modify the entire intranet, such as the same spokesman confirmed to us.

…I had access for half a year, I accidentally found that they store all their documents this way. This shocked me a little, I often meet with the carelessness of companies, but this is the first time. I had full access to edit the intranet

What will Italy’s Privacy Guarantor say about all that now that they have opened an investigation into the incident?

You can find all of Marco’s coverage on their site.

Article updated to add link to press release about the Guarantor opening an investigation.

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