Other Australian companies attacked by the same ransomware attack on the JBS meat processing company

By Cameron AbbottRob Pulham and Jacqueline Patishman

It’s been reported that at least 7 other Australian companies are among the group of companies that were affected by the recent ransomware attack on JBS meat by the cybercriminal group REvil.

The hackers have posted a list of the companies that it successfully infected with the ransomware on the dark web. The companies include:

  • a consultancy firm;
  • an accounting firm;
  • an organisation for mental health carers;
  • a liquor group collective;
  • a law firm;
  • a chemical packing firm;
  • a strategy-focussed consulting company; and
  • an online retailer.

The currently proposed amendments to the Security of Critical Infrastructure Act 2018 (Cth) would be useful in this area, allowing government to receive reports from separate organisations in respect of current and ongoing cyber incidents, to allow it to build a consolidated picture of the level of activity and nature of these attacks.

It’s been reported that the ransomware REvil used to attack these companies was created by a group called Pinchy Spider which provides ransomware as a service to affiliate hackers.

Selling ransomware as a service is becoming an increasingly lucrative business for cybercriminals and is unfortunately making it all too easy for people to launch these types of attacks.

A Forbes article entitled ‘Revealed: the supermarkets that will sell you malware for $50‘, explains that the increase in ransomware and other cyber-attacks occurring globally could simply be down to the fact that it has never been easier or cheaper to deploy an attack. Off the shelf malware is now easier to find and easier to use so that almost anyone can become a cybercriminal – so long as they have their cryptocurrency wallet handy!

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