Wednesday, August 10th | 13 Av 5782

December 6, 2020 12:50 pm

Hackers Threaten to Sell Israeli Database to Highest Bidder After Ransom Demand Refused

avatar by Israel Hayom /

A hooded man holds a laptop computer as cyber code is projected on him in this illustration picture taken on May 13, 2017. Photo: Reuters / Kacper Pempel / Illustration. – The hacker group that stole a major Israeli insurance company’s database said on Sunday that it had already “received offers” for it and plans to “sell it to the highest bidder.”

The group, calling itself “Black Shadow,” had demanded a ransom of 50 bitcoins—nearly $1 million—for the database, which was stolen from Shirbit Insurance. The company refused to pay.

The hackers have released several samples of the data, including documents containing names, addresses, phone numbers, credit card information and drivers’ licenses of the company’s clients.

As the company has remained adamant in its refusal to pay, Black Shadow has upped the ransom, which now stands at 200 bitcoin, or nearly $4 million.

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Shirbit has many civil servants among its clients, having won a government tender a few years ago.

If the company refuses to pay the ransom, Black Shadow has said it will auction off the database. Its social media accounts claimed that it has received offers from multiple interested parties and promised “to address every request.”

Communication specialist Ronen Tzur, hired by Shirbit to manage the crisis, told Army Radio that the company has made a “strategic decision” not to pay the hackers.

“We will not cooperate with extortion attempts. The more digital the world becomes, the more prevalent such hacks could become and we will not cooperate with them,” he said.

He noted that “this was not a regular ransomware attack. The hackers went public even before they contacted the company.”

He further stressed that none of Shirbit clients’ viable credit card information had been compromised.

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