Apple supplier Foxconn hit by £25.5m ransomware attack

The Foxconn logo on a website under a magnifying glass

Apple supplier Foxconn has reportedly fallen victim to a ransomware attack, with hackers demanding $34 million (£25.5 million) in Bitcoin from the manufacturing giant, according to BleepingComputer.

According to the publication, cyber criminals targeted Foxconn’s CTBG MX facility in Ciudad Juárez, Mexico, which is used to assemble and ship Foxconn’s offerings to regions across South and North America.

The attack, which reportedly took place on 29 November, has been claimed by DoppelPaymer hackers. The notorious group is also responsible for the recent ransomware attacks on Newcastle University and laptop maker Compal.

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According to the ransom note obtained by BleepingComputer, the DoppelPaymer group has demanded a ransom of 1804.0955 bitcoins from Foxconn, which converts to around £25.5 million.

DoppelPaymer confirmed to BleepingComputer that they had attacked Foxconn’s Ciudad Juárez facility but denied having targeted the whole company. They admitted to encrypting about 1,200 servers, stealing 100GB of unencrypted files, as well as deleting between 20 and 30TB of backups.

"We encrypted NA segment, not whole Foxconn, it's about 1200-1400 servers, and not focused on workstations. They also had about 75TB's of misc backups, what we were able to - we destroyed (approx 20-30TB)," DoppelPaymer told the Bleeping Computer.

IT Pro contacted Foxconn for comment but has not heard back at the time of publication. Its CTBG MX facility’s website has reportedly been down since the day of the attack.

It is not known whether the Taiwanese company, also known as Hon Hai Precision Industry, is planning to pay the ransom.

Weeks before the attack, DoppelPaymer targeted fellow Taiwanese manufacturer Compal, which handles the design and production of monitors, tablets, and television screens for tech giants such as Apple, Acer, Lenovo, Dell, Toshiba, HP, and Fujitsu.

According to the DoppelPaymer Tor payment site linked in the ransom note, the company had been asked to pay 1,100 Bitcoins, around £12,906,473, to receive a decryptor.

Compal spokesperson Lu Qingxiong told Taiwanese business news website UDN that the company had informed its suppliers that the incident was likely to affect some projects in the short term but added that most of the issues had been resolved.

Sabina Weston

Having only graduated from City University in 2019, Sabina has already demonstrated her abilities as a keen writer and effective journalist. Currently a content writer for Drapers, Sabina spent a number of years writing for ITPro, specialising in networking and telecommunications, as well as charting the efforts of technology companies to improve their inclusion and diversity strategies, a topic close to her heart.

Sabina has also held a number of editorial roles at Harper's Bazaar, Cube Collective, and HighClouds.