The infamous BlackCat ransomware group, also known as ALPHV, has claimed responsibility for an attack on watchmakers Seiko, which happened earlier this month.
As per a report on BleepingComputer, the group has added the Japanese giant to its extortion site and shared a few samples of the data collected.
Roughly two weeks ago, Seiko published a statement saying that an unauthorized third party accessed its IT infrastructure and stole sensitive data. "It appears that some as-yet-unidentified party or parties gained unauthorized access to at least one of our servers," Seiko said in its announcement.
Compromised patented information
"Subsequently, on August 2nd, we commissioned a team of external cybersecurity experts to investigate and assess the situation," it continued. "As a result, we are now reasonably certain that there was a breach and that some information stored by our Company and/or our Group companies may have been compromised."
Now, BlackCat has posted a sample of the stolen data, which seems to include production plans, employee passport scans, new model release plans, and specialized lab test results.
The publication says that BlackCat also seems to have taken confidential technical schematics and Seiko watch designs - patented information that could be of great use to competitors and copycats.
Researchers from Curated Intel then found that an Initial Access Broker (IAB) was advertising access to a major Japanese manufacturing company that generates $1.8 billion in revenue - the same figure for Seiko as per Zoominfo, the website from which the IAB took the figure. The ad was posted a day before the watchmaker said it was breached.
Seiko is one of the world’s most popular watchmakers, and has some 12,000 employees. The company apologized to potentially impacted customers and warned them to be extra careful when receiving emails and other messages from companies claiming to be Seiko.
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Sead is a seasoned freelance journalist based in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina. He writes about IT (cloud, IoT, 5G, VPN) and cybersecurity (ransomware, data breaches, laws and regulations). In his career, spanning more than a decade, he’s written for numerous media outlets, including Al Jazeera Balkans. He’s also held several modules on content writing for Represent Communications.