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Hackers invade Light in Rio and ask for $ 7 million in cryptocurrency ransom


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The energy company Light, which serves about 4 million people in Rio de Janeiro, joined the list of companies targeted by hacker attacks. The action took place last Tuesday (16) and encrypted Windows system files.

According to VejaRio, the hackers asked for a ransom of US $ 7 million to release the files again, to be paid in Monero (XMR) within 48 hours. This cryptocurrency, unlike bitcoin, has technology that makes it virtually impossible to track.

Also according to VejaRio, the hijacking of the data did not cause problems in the energy supply. However, it affects the administrative area of ​​the company and can harm issues such as billing and collections.

In a note sent to the report, Light confirmed that it was the target of the attack at dawn on Tuesday and that it has been taking the necessary measures. "The attack was identified promptly and did not have any impact on the power supply, affecting a limited number of company computers."

The power company also said it would not comment further on the incident.

Comments on social networks

Company users reacted ironically to the attack suffered by Light. The post made by the company on Facebook stating the action is accompanied by comments from customers who took the opportunity to make various complaints about the energy service.

Light reports that in the early hours of June 16, it suffered a cyber attack on its computers, acting immediately…

Posted by Light on Thursday, June 18, 2020

“I am suffering a financial attack from Light. All my accounts are up to date and Light is charging me for adjustment, ”said a user identified as Denis Marcone da Silva.

The client Thiago Freitas also mocked the energy company. "Yeah … hopefully this attack will reduce the bills … because it's really absurd".

"It had to affect the part where we put our bills up there, without being what we consume energy !!!", complained another user, Ana Carla Coutinho.

Another customer, identified as Ane Siqueira, also criticized the company when commenting on the post about the attack. “We hope that this will not cause undue charges, claiming that there are no payments in the system. From light I expect everything, including nothing ”.

Some of the responses are accompanied by replications of Light's profile on the social network, in which he asks for more information about complaints and makes recommendations for service channels.

Increasingly common situation

Cyber ​​attacks expose a situation that tends to become increasingly common, regardless of the location and size of the company or institution. And that demands attention and constant actions to improve digital security.

In April, the Portuguese energy company EDP, which also operates in Brazil, was the target of an attack by hackers who demanded 1,580 bitcoins as a ransom – a value that at the time was equivalent to R $ 55 million.

Although it is traceable – unlike Monero, required by the hackers who attacked Light -, bitcoin is often the most adopted means of payment for ransoms. This is because the cryptocurrency, for having greater acceptance than others, allows an easier realization in fiat currency, for example.

Throughout 2019, according to the consultancy Chainalysis, fraudulent transactions moved a total of $ 2.8 billion in bitcoin that went through exchanges.

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