Crime

Graff Gets Hit by Ransomware Attack

CrimeNov 02, 2021

Graff Gets Hit by Ransomware Attack

The data breach included some personal details of high-end clients.

Graff is known for its high jewelry, counting celebrities and world leaders among its clients. Pictured here is the “New Dawn” necklace from Graff’s “Tribal” collection, featuring 64 total carats of diamonds in 18-karat white gold.
London—High-end jeweler Graff has become the victim of a ransomware attack.

Ransomware is malware that uses encryption to hold a victim’s system or personal files and demands payment to get them back.

For most people involved in the Graff data breach, it included details like their name and potentially their home address—which can be retrieved in the public domain from other sources– rather than any other confidential details that would put them at risk of identity theft.

A Graff spokesperson said the brand informed “the small group of individuals whose personal data was compromised to such an extent” and advised them on the appropriate steps to take.

The brand’s security systems alerted it to the activity, allowing it to react quickly and shut down its network.

Graff said it has been working with the U.K.’s Information Commissioner’s Office and relevant law enforcement on the incident.

“Thanks to our robust back-up facilities we were able to rebuild and restart our systems within days - crucially with no irretrievable loss of data,” the spokesperson said.

“Sadly, it appears that notable brands, corporations and even government departments are deliberately targeted by unscrupulous operators to extort money, cause disruption or simply embarrassment. Cybercrime continues to rise in scale and complexity. It is a threat to every business. Maintaining the highest level of security against these threats has always been a top priority for us. We are continually strengthening our systems to counter these threats as they evolve.”

The group known as Conti is said to be behind the attack, the U.K.’s The Times reported, leaking the details of the brand’s high-end clientele to the dark web.

In a September press release, the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency said it and the Federal Bureau of Investigation had seen an increase in the use of Conti ransomware in more than 400 attacks on U.S. and international organizations.

Earlier this year, the FBI said it had identified at least 16 Conti ransomware attacks that targeted healthcare and first responder networks in the U.S. 

 Related stories will be right here … 

While the hacks that tend to make headlines are the bigger ones, small businesses should also protect themselves against such crimes.

The Jewelers’ Security Alliance recommends the following actions to prevent cybercrime. 

1.  Have proper firewalls, anti-virus, and anti-malware for all systems, and keep them up to date.

2. Don’t let employees use company internet-connected devices at work for personal use or download software without permission. Additionally, don’t let them introduce personal memory sticks into a company system.

3. Have strong, unique passwords.

4. Beware of phishing. One of the main pathways for cyber criminals is to lead someone to open and click on a link in an email which will unleash malware to penetrate the system, JSA said. 

So, don’t open or click on unknown or suspicious emails. Even emails from people and customers or vendors that might seem familiar can be spoof emails or from someone who has obtained an email address only slightly different from a real email address. 

Additionally, look for unfamiliar foreign domains, misspellings, and other anomalies. 

5. Beware of social engineering, which is obtaining confidential information by manipulating and/or deceiving people.

Criminals can obtain information on company personnel, customers, ordering, shipping procedures, payment methods, and other information for a fraudulent transaction through impersonation, email correspondence, research on social media, or other means.

So, be careful of the information provided to the public by email, website, social media, or phone.

Also, confirm the identity of the person to whom you are talking. If the interaction includes a transaction, call the known customer on the telephone to confirm there hasn’t been fraudulent impersonation.

6. Avoid visiting questionable and risky sites. 

7. Don’t download questionable apps from obscure or unknown companies.

8. Have a written cyber security policy that employees must read and sign.

9. Have regular staff meetings and periodic reviews of cyber protocols for the business. 
Brecken Branstratoris the senior editor, gemstones at National Jeweler, covering sourcing, pricing and other developments in the colored stone sector.

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