Leading forensics firm reportedly pays ransomware demand

Image credit: Pixabay (Image credit: Pixabay)

Eurofins Scientific, the leading forensic services outfit in the UK, has paid out to criminals who hit the company with a ransomware attack, according to a report.

While Eurofins Scientific wouldn’t be drawn to comment on whether the ransom had been paid or not – only stating that it was “collaborating with law enforcement” – the BBC alleges that the firm has indeed been forced to pay the ransom demand (although no details were provided as to the amount in question).

The ransomware attack happened a month ago, in the first week of June, and was described as highly sophisticated, with Eurofins saying three weeks after the attack that its operations were returning to normal (but not why they were returning to normal).

Eurofins boasts that it has the “most advanced analytical facilities in Europe” when it comes to providing DNA and toxicological testing services to police and other authorities throughout Europe.

However, following the ransomware attack, the British police force ceased working with the company. But delays encountered in finding alternative forensic services have led to some court cases being postponed, the BBC further notes.

Ongoing investigation

The National Crime Agency wouldn’t be drawn on whether Eurofins has paid the ransom, either, and simply stated that: “As there is an ongoing criminal investigation, it would be inappropriate to comment.”

In a previous statement, on June 24, Eurofins said that it “profoundly apologises to the customers of those of its laboratories and sites that have been impacted by the consequences of this sophisticated attack.”

The company also said: “We are continuing to work intensively with leading cybersecurity experts to further secure our current systems and infrastructure and to add enhanced security features and measures to protect our systems and data.

“The investigations conducted so far by our internal and external IT forensics experts have not found evidence of any unauthorised theft or transfer of confidential client data. The security of our client data and of all our IT systems is of the utmost importance to Eurofins.”

We also saw that recently, a US city, Riviera Beach, elected to pay a ransom to regain control of its IT systems, seemingly with a successful resolution.

However, we must always remember that there is far from any guarantee that you will actually get your files or data back if you do elect to pay ransomware criminals their demands.

Darren is a freelancer writing news and features for TechRadar (and occasionally T3) across a broad range of computing topics including CPUs, GPUs, various other hardware, VPNs, antivirus and more. He has written about tech for the best part of three decades, and writes books in his spare time (his debut novel - 'I Know What You Did Last Supper' - was published by Hachette UK in 2013).