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Apple supplier Quanta confirms ransomware attack

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Cybercriminals have published the design for Apple's upcoming MacBook Pro (opens in new tab) refresh online following a successful ransomware (opens in new tab) attack on one of the company's biggest suppliers.

Quanta Computer is a Taiwan-based ODM laptop manufacturer that recently confirmed it servers had suffered a cyberattack. In a statement (opens in new tab) to Bloomberg, a company spokesperson acknowledged the attack, saying:

“Quanta Computer’s information security team has worked with external IT experts in response to cyber attacks on a small number of Quanta servers. We’ve reported to and kept seamless communications with the relevant law enforcement and data protection authorities concerning recent abnormal activities observed. There’s no material impact on the company’s business operation.”

While Quanta did not go into details regarding the attack itself as an investigation is still underway, the ransomware gang REvil (opens in new tab) has taken responsibility and is in the process of “negotiating the sale” of data stolen in the attack “with several major brands”, according to The Register (opens in new tab).

Quanta ransomware attack

The REvil ransomware group has shared additional details on its “Happy Blog (opens in new tab)” which it uses to name and shame its victims. In a post on its blog, the group claimed that it deployed ransomware on Quanta's servers and was able to obtain confidential blueprints for upcoming Apple products.

So far REvil has published some of the blueprints it has acquired including one for an unreleased MacBook dated March 2021 and as the company's last business laptop (opens in new tab) was released in November of last year, the design could be for an upcoming device. 

The ransomware group has demanded that Quanta pay it 123,028 Monero (opens in new tab) ($50m) to delete the files it has stolen and decrypt the company's locked systems. This is because cybercriminals have begun to move away from demanding their ransoms in Bitcoin (opens in new tab) in favor of Monero as it is much harder to track.

Earlier this year REvil deployed ransomware on another Taiwanese hardware maker's networks when it hacked Acer (opens in new tab). At the time, the group also asked for $50m in cryptocurrency (opens in new tab) to decrypt Acer's files with the threat that it would increase the ransom to $100m if the company refused to agree to its terms.

While REvil has acquired Apple's blueprints and confidential data, it is still unclear as to whether or not it also obtained documents for Quanta's other clients which include HP, Facebook and Google among others.

Via The Register (opens in new tab)

Anthony Spadafora
Anthony Spadafora

After working with the TechRadar Pro team for the last several years, Anthony is now the security and networking editor at Tom’s Guide where he covers everything from data breaches and ransomware gangs to the best way to cover your whole home or business with Wi-Fi. When not writing, you can find him tinkering with PCs and game consoles, managing cables and upgrading his smart home.