Toshiba hit by ransomware in suspected DarkSide attack

The Toshiba logo at an event
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A French business belonging to Toshiba has been hit by a ransomware attack which the company says is from the same group that carried out the Colonial Pipeline attack this week.

Toshiba Tec Corp, which makes office and electrical machinery, said today it had been hacked by DarkSide, according to Reuters. This is the same group that the FBI has blamed for the Colonial Pipeline attack in the US.

Little is known at this stage as to how much damage has been caused, however, the company said in a press release that the extent of the impact has been limited to some regions in Europe, but Toshiba Tec is still investigating whether customer-related information was leaked externally.

"As far as the investigation result shows, the group recognises that it is possible that some information and data may have been leaked by the criminal gang," it said in a statement.

The group took actions to stop the networks and systems operating between Japan and Europe as well as those between European subsidiaries to prevent the spread of the damage. It also said that once its data backup is completed, it will deploy recovery measures.

Websites used by the DarkSide group claimed on Wednesday to have attacked three additional unnamed companies, according to CNBC. Shortly before these sites were taken offline, the group posted information they claimed related to the hacks, but this did not include leaked data.

One company is a US-based technology services reseller that the group claims to have stolen 600GB of sensitive information from, while another is a Brazilian renewable energy reseller from which 400GB of data was stolen, including “personal data of clients”.

The third is a Scottish construction company from which DarkSide claims to have stolen 900GB, including contracts and personal data.

On Thursday, the Colonial Pipeline company admitted to paying the Eastern European hackers $5 million, despite reports earlier this week stating that the firm had no intention of paying the ransom.

The company reportedly paid the ransom in virtually untraceable cryptocurrency in exchange for a decryption tool to unlock its computer systems. However, it's believed the tool took too long to revert the encryption, and that the company was forced to rely on backups to fully restore its systems.

US government officials were also reportedly aware that Colonial Pipeline had paid the ransom to keep fuel stations open and planes fuelled in southeastern cities. Despite this, the incident has caused fuel shortages in North and South Carolina, Georgia, Virginia, and Florida.

Zach Marzouk

Zach Marzouk is a former ITPro, CloudPro, and ChannelPro staff writer, covering topics like security, privacy, worker rights, and startups, primarily in the Asia Pacific and the US regions. Zach joined ITPro in 2017 where he was introduced to the world of B2B technology as a junior staff writer, before he returned to Argentina in 2018, working in communications and as a copywriter. In 2021, he made his way back to ITPro as a staff writer during the pandemic, before joining the world of freelance in 2022.