Liberty Financial Confirms Ransomware Attack, Hackers Demand ‘Millions’

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Financial services provider Liberty has revealed it has been the victim of a data breach on Saturday night, with hackers reportedly demanding millions in exchange for the stolen information.

In a notice on its website, the South African financial giant company said it had suffered from an “unauthorized access to its IT infrastructure”.

It added:

An external party claims to have seized data from us, has alerted us to potential vulnerabilities in our systems and has requested compensation for this.

A separate report by the Sunday Times revealed that hackers had demanded ‘millions’ of rand from Liberty with the threat of releasing “sensitive data” about “top clients” if Liberty did not pay the ransom.

“Liberty IT personnel are running around like headless chickens” the report further added, suggesting the firm was woefully unprepared in responding to the attack. The report also suggests that the company is still not certain as to how much data was at risk and how their systems were breached.

Notably, the Sunday Times is also reporting that Liberty executives are considering and willing to pay the hackers off after engaging in communication with them, citing a source.

“Liberty is investigating the breach and we will endeavour to keep all stakeholders fully informed as appropriate,” the company added in its statement.

Liberty Group is among Africa’s largest services groups with a presence in over 18 countries in the continent with over 3.2 million customers. The company is diversified in investment offerings, asset management, health products and insurance.

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