In a recent cyberattack incident involving the Industrial & Commercial Bank of China (ICBC), the bank had to resort to unconventional methods to transport critical data. ICBC fell victim to a disruptive ransomware attack that paralyzed their digital infrastructure, impacting banking transactions and online services. Despite this, the bank had an urgent need to send essential settlement details to the US Treasury Trades.
With online services rendered useless, ICBC’s administrative staff had to think on their feet and decided to load the crucial data onto USB sticks for physical transportation. While this may seem like a secure means of information transfer, it comes with challenges such as additional manpower and expenses.
ICBC suspects the cyberattack was the work of the LockBit Ransomware group, believed to operate out of Russia. The bank’s security experts are gathering evidence and exploring the possibility of negotiating a resolution with the hackers through forensic efforts. Simultaneously, ICBC is actively working on recovering the stolen data from backups and collaborating with law enforcement agencies to prevent the illicit sale or leakage of sensitive information.
Despite its enormous financial significance, ICBC refuses to succumb to the hackers’ ransom demands. Paying these criminals not only incentivizes further criminal activity but also does not guarantee the receipt of a decryption key. The LockBit group has been targeting other notable companies like Boeing, ION Trading UK, and the UK’s Royal Mail, raising concerns about their connections to the Kremlin.