Clean energy company Invenergy said on Friday it had been hacked but “did not intend to pay the ransom” after one of the world’s most prominent ransom groups threatened to release embarrassing details about its billionaire CEO.
The Chicago-based private company, best known for building large wind farms, said it had “investigated the unauthorized operation of some of its information systems” and was following up on any regulations that required data breaches.
Invenergy said the attack did not affect its actions, adding: “Invenergy has not paid, it does not intend to pay the ransom.”
The admission came after Russia-linked REvil, one of the best criminal ransomware hacking cartels, claimed on its dark website that it had compromised the company by downloading four terabytes of data, including information on projects and contracts. according to screenshots seen by FT. ,
It claimed that it had “very personal” information about the company’s CEO, Michael Polski. According to hackers, this includes personal mails of the energy tycoon, compromising photos, details of his divorce from his first wife Maya Polski. Invenergy did not comment on the allegations.
Mr. Polski amassed a fortune of $ 1.5 billion by building electricity companies after emigrating from Soviet Ukraine to the United States in 1976 for $ 500. according to ForbesIn 2007, a judge ruled that Mrs. Polski should be was awarded Half of her husband’s cash at the time, about $ 180 million, was one of the most expensive divorces in history at the time.
The “Invention” incident comes amid a growing scourge of cybercrime involving ransom programs in the United States.
Recently, ransomware groups have begun threatening data leaks as an additional lever to extinguish pressure targets. Many people operate “leak sites” in a dark network where they will post threats to their targets and later publish stolen data if those targets refuse to pay.
Some hacker groups claim to have switched entirely to the emission model, known as “extortion,” relying solely on reputational damage to win the payout, which is usually encrypted in cryptocurrency.
Invenergy said its attackers “did not encrypt any data”, suggesting that REvil either chose not to hide the company data, not to disrupt its business, or the encryption attempt failed.
“There are groups of threats. “More and more people are using the scandalous information they have received as leverage against executives who may be able to influence the decision to pay or not pay,” said Brett Callon, a threat analyst at Emsisoft Cyber Security Group.
“Unfortunately, this is a strategy that probably works. Even [if] The allegations are false, some companies may be willing to pay just to eliminate the disgraceful situation. ”