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ICBC paid ransom after hack that disrupted markets, cybercriminals say

The logo of Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) is pictured at the entrance to its branch in Beijing, China April 1, 2019. REUTERS/Florence Lo/File Photo
The logo of Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) is pictured at the entrance to its branch in Beijing, China April 1, 2019. REUTERS/Florence Lo/File Photo

ICBC paid ransom after a hack that disrupted markets, cybercriminals say. The Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, China’s largest lender, is reported to have paid a ransom to the hackers who attacked ICBC last week, according to a statement released by a member of the Lockbit ransomware gang on Monday. Reuters was unable to verify this assertion independently.

On Thursday, a ransomware attack hit the ICBC’s U.S. branch, halting trading in the US Treasury market.

“They paid a ransom, and the deal closed,” the Lockbit official told Reuters over the internet chat app Tox. “They paid a ransom.”

A request for a response was made to ICBC, but they did not react immediately. The ransomware assault occurred when concerns about the stability of the Treasury market, which is critical to the functioning of the global financial system, were at an all-time high.

As a result of the blackout at the bank’s U.S. broker-dealer, the bank is currently in temporary debt to BNY Mellon BK.N. for $9 billion, much more than its net capital.

According to Reuters, the attack was so thorough that the company’s employees were forced to convert to using Google Mail because even the company’s business email had stopped working.

Zhiwei Ren, a Penn Mutual Asset Management portfolio manager, stated that “the market is mostly back to normal now.”

Lockbit has been responsible for hacking into some of the largest organizations in the world in recent months, taking critical data and exposing it in instances where the victims refused to pay a ransom.

According to officials in the United States, in only three short years, it has become the most dangerous ransomware menace in the whole globe. Nowhere else has it caused as much havoc as it has in the United States, affecting more than 1,700 American organizations across practically every industry, from food and financial services to schools, transportation, and government offices.

Lockbit hackers said on their website last week that they had attacked the computer systems of Allen & Overy, a legal company founded in London. This publication of internal data from aerospace giant Boeing occurred the same week.

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