Laptop maker Compal hit by ransomware attack

A magnifying glass focused on the Compal logo on the company's website
(Image credit: Shutterstock)

Laptop manufacturer Compal has been hit by a ransomware attack which saw attackers demanding a ransom of close to £13 million.

Compal, which is based in Taiwan, is considered the second-largest laptop manufacturer in the world after Quanta Computers. It is known for handling the design and production of monitors, tablets, and television screens for tech giants such as Apple, Acer, Lenovo, Dell, Toshiba, HP, and Fujitsu.

However, its high-ranking status did not stop the company from falling victim to a ransomware attack over the weekend.

Taiwanese media were quick to report that Compal had been hit by a cyber attack. At first, the laptop manufacturer denied that it was being blackmailed by cyber criminals and blamed the issue on an "abnormality" in their office automation system. However, BleepingComputer managed to obtain the ransom note and confirmed that the company had in fact suffered a DoppelPaymer ransomware attack.

The publication also found that, according to the DoppelPaymer Tor payment site linked in the ransom note, Compal had been asked to pay 1,100 Bitcoins, which is around £12,906,473, to receive a decryptor.

Doppelmayer has been previously linked to the recent attack on Newcastle University, as well as the attacks on Elon Musk's companies SpaceX and Tesla earlier this year.

The group behind DoppelPaymer also reportedly offer their services for others to use, similar to the 'ransomware as a service' (RaaS) operation run by the Netwalker group, which has reportedly made over $29 million since March.


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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.

ITWire reported that Compal likely hasn't yet responded to the ransom note, as the group behind DoppelPaymer have not listed the ransomware attack on their dark web site. It is not yet known whether the laptop manufacturer is planning to pay the ransom.

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.