Hackers Demand a Ransom of $5 Million in Bitcoin After Cyberattack on Mexico’s Pemex

Pemex or Petróleos Mexicanos, a state-owned petroleum company came under cyber attack which was detected by the authorities on Sunday. The attack was so severe that they had to shut computers down all across Mexico including vital services such as online payments. After declining the instant payment to the hackers, now they are demanding a higher sum of $5 million in Bitcoin.

The hackers are believed to be affiliated with a darknet website called ‘DoppelPaymer' and also put out a ransom note demanding 526 bitcoins with a 48-hour deadline. They also put out an email address for contact. Reuters contacted on the provided email and came to know that Pemex was given a discounted offer earlier which they failed to fulfill.

Pemex claimed that the attack only affected 5% of their system, and their storage and distribution were working as usual. Although they declined any demands for ransom, the firm claimed that the cleanup might cost upwards of $71 million. The firm also called for “avoiding rumors and disinformation,”

This year has seen a significant rise in popularity and adoption of cryptocurrencies but at the same time, there has been an increased number of cyberattacks such as Chile’s Agriculture Ministry and the town of Edcouch in Texas, demanding bitcoin ransomware.

One of the employees working at the firm claimed that the ransomware malware used for the attack was ‘Ryuk‘ which generally targets the companies with annual revenues between $500 million to $1 billion. However, Pemex revenue is far below that.

With the 48-hour deadline approaching near, it would be interesting to see if Pemex finally agrees to pay the ransom or the attack continues. These ransomware attacks have proved fatal for the companies affected by the attack as it generally targets key functionaries of the system so that the damage and risk are higher.

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