UK: Customers hit as ransomware incident blacks out Doncaster insurance firm

We were so busy watching the Colonial Pipeline situation here that we appear to have missed a ransomware incident in the U.K. of note.

It started typically enough, with the Doncaster Free Press reporting on May 14 that One Call Insurance had been hit the previous day, and customers were unable to reach the firm.

It turns out that this was another DarkSide attack, but a lot of the UK coverage seems to have focused on the business owner’s past history, e.g.:

In 2018, the firm and Radford were fined more than £1 million for inadvertently spending £17.3m of client money on working capital and payments to directors.

The Financial Conduct Authority fined the firm £684,000 for failing to arrange adequate protection for client money over nine years while Mr Radford was fined £468,600 after the FCA decided he ‘is not fit and proper to have any responsibility for client money or insurer money’… ‘on the basis of his lack of competence to perform such functions’.

Are they covering that as a suggestion that maybe the firm was negligent in their security?  It’s not clear.

In any event, DarkSide reportedly demanded £15 million ransom to provide a decryptor key and not to publicly dump data.

While the firm has apologized to frustrated and irate customers, the situation remains uncertain as DarkSide ceased operations as RaaS and sent a note to all its affiliates that basically gave the affiliates control of what happens next to targets that had not paid and/or had not gotten a decryption key already. Could whatever affiliate who was involved in One Call decide to just give them the decryption key for free?  Sure, but that seems unlikely.  And where are the customer data? Are they stored on the one of the servers that was taken down or are they still accessible? found that at least one of DarkSide’s servers with target data was still online and reachable if one knows the url where to look, but does not know if One Call data may be on that server.

Does One Call have a usable backup, or is this likely to be a total loss of everything? It’s been more than one week since the attack. An updated notice appears on their web site, but a notice on their home page seems more updated:

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