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Taiwan's electronics giant Acer hit by record ransomware attack

Group demands record US$50 million after posting allegedly stolen documents online

Acer targeted by record ransom demand 

Acer targeted by record ransom demand  (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Hackers stole confidential files from computer giant Acer and demanded an unprecedented ransom of US$50 million (NT$1.42 billion), according to a report Friday (March 19) by website Bleeping Computer.

The ransomware group known as REvil posted online images of allegedly stolen spreadsheets, bank balances and bank messages, in order to underpin their claims of having hacked into the Taiwan company’s network.

Acer did not confirm or deny the reports, but said it had “reported recent abnormal situations observed to the relevant law enforcement and data protection authorities in multiple countries,” according to Bleeping Computer. The corporation, based in New Taipei City, added it was continuously improving its online security environment as “companies like us are constantly under attack.”

The US$50-million ransom demand was said to be the highest in hacking history. The perpetrators reportedly offered a discount of 20 percent if Acer paid up by March 17, proposing to add a report about the company network’s vulnerability and the deletion of stolen files.

The previous record ransom demand was made by the same group in January, when it asked for US$30 million from Hong Kong’s Dairy Farm Group, owner of the Wellcome supermarket chain.