Hackers who breached Israeli insurance firm demand $1m to keep data private

Hackers who stole clients’ personal data from Israeli insurance company Shirbit are demanding approximately $1 million in order to keep the information private.

The hacking group Black Shadow said Wednesday night that if the requested sum of 50 bitcoins ($950,000) is transferred into its account within 24 hours it will not publish or sell the information. However, it warned that the sum will double to 100 bitcoins after 24 hours and to 200 bitcoins after another 24.

After 72 hours the hackers said they will sell the information to third parties.

To prove they have the data, the hackers have published drivers’ licenses and other personal data allegedly from Shirbit’s clientele.

Shirbit has not yet commented on the demands.

The hackers have claimed to possess a vast amount of documents from Shirbit’s clients, many of whom are civil servants.

In a joint statement Tuesday, the Capital Markets Authority and the Israel National Cyber Directorate confirmed that there had been a cyberattack on Shirbit and that information had leaked in the breach.

The statement said that an investigation into a possible cyber incident had begun the night before amid suspicions of an attack on the company’s servers.

“An initial investigation found that information on the details of clients’ insurance is involved,” the statement said, noting that the investigation was still ongoing.

Although personal information was taken, it did not include credit card details, Israeli officials, according to Hebrew media reports.

Black Shadow took responsibility for the attack, boasting of its success in a series of tweets in poor English that included images of some of the information taken, as well as technical details apparently intended to show the scale of the assault.

“A huge cyber attack has been taken place by Black Shadow team,” the group tweeted. “There has been a massive attack on the network infrastructure of Shirbit Company, which is in Israel economic sphere.

“In this action, in addition to serious damage to data centers, information of a significant part of the company’s subscribers has been leaked,” the group continued, saying it had taken “subscribers identity documents, financial statements and other company-related documents.”

“Also all of customer’s and employee’s identities has been hacked,” Black Shadow said. It did not give any motive for the hack.

One of the documents the group tweeted appeared to show the personal details, including the home address and phone numbers, of Tel Aviv District Court President Judge Gilad Neuthal.

A senior executive at Shirbit, who was not named, told Channel 12 news: “We don’t know who was behind the attack. We took down our website in order to prevent further cyber attacks.”

Shirbit specializes in real estate, auto, and travel insurance. A month ago it won a bid to provide auto insurance for the country’s civil service employees during 2021, the Walla website reported.

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