Company Pays N3.1 billion Ransom in Bitcoin to Russian Hackers

Company Pays N3.1 billion Ransom in Bitcoin to Russian Hackers

  • A Russian hacking group named Conti has received about N3.1 billion ransom in Bitcoin from a jewelry company, Graff
  • The company stated that the hacking ring leaked the data of its high-net worth clients who are mostly royals from the Middle East
  • Graff sued its insurance company, Travellers Companies Inc for refusing to cover the ransom in its policy

Despite the current crypto crash, Luxury British Jeweller, Graff Diamond Corp paid N3.150 billion in Bitcoin as Ransom to a Russian hacking ring after it leaked data of the company’s high-net-worth clients, a London lawsuit showed.

The company, which has some wealthy Middle East royal families as clients, took its insurer to court for the losses the extortion has caused it and said that the payment should be covered under their policy.

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Russia, Hackers, Graff, Jewellery
Hackers take ransom in Bitcoin from a company Credit: Kilito Chan
Source: Getty Images

Data of high-profile clients exposed

The insurance firm, The Traveler Companies Inc is refusing to pay the jewellery company the cost of the Bitcoin ransom, saying that it is not covered under the existing policy.

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The Ransomware ring, Conti attacked the high-society company in September 2021 and leaked the data of Saudi, UAE and Qatar royal families. The group apologised to the families but threatened to expose more data belonging to Graff’s clients.

According to reports, the group said their aim is to publish as much of Graff’s information as possible in regards to financial declarations made by the US-UK-EU liberal plutocracy which uses expensive purchases when Russia is falling under economic sanctions.

A Bloomberg report said that the hacking group accepted the company’s initial demand of $15 million for a Bitcoin wallet to stop further leakage of its clients’ data.

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This happened before the crypto crash, meaning the company paid the ransom when Bitcoin was sold at an all-time high.

Ransom paid in Bitcoin at high price

It is not known if the notorious group cashed out the Bitcoin at the time. The payment would have been worth around 118 Bitcoin as of November 4, 2021.

Graff’s spokesperson said the notorious group targeted the publishing of its customers’ private purchases

The spokesperson expressed disappointment with Travelers’ attempt to avoid not paying the insured risk, saying Graff has been left with no choice but to bring those recoveries to court.

Laurence Graff controls the closely held jeweller and is worth $5.9 billion according to the Bloomberg Billionaire Index.

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The company has identified a potential account it believes may be the offender.

According to Harmony, it has begun working with national authorities to discover the culprit and get back the stolen money, a tweet from the company said.


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