Singapore Authorities Advise Victims to Report Ransomware Attacks Instead of Paying

By Thea Felicity

Jun 07, 2024 10:55 AM EDT

Activist hacker group Anonymous is seen through the internet government website of Singapore Prime Minister Office circulated online on a smartphone in Singapore on November 7, 2013. Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong's official website was briefly hacked November 7, by apparent members of activist group Anonymous after he vowed to hunt down anyone who attacks the city-state's technology network.
(Photo : ROSLAN RAHMAN/AFP via Getty Images)

Singapore authorities, including the Cyber Security Agency of Singapore (CSA) and the Personal Data Protection Commission (PDPC), urge victims to report hacking incidents made by the Akira ransomware group and advise them not to pay any ransom.

In a report by Channel News Asia, local law firm Shook Lin & Bok was recently attacked by the Akira group and reportedly paid a ransom of $1.4 million in Bitcoin. 

However, the authorities emphasized that ransom does not guarantee data decryption or prevent the attackers from publishing stolen information. It could also make the organization a target for future attacks.

The authorities outlined various measures for organizations to defend against ransomware attacks.Nevertheless, in order to lessen the impact of breaches, organizations are also strongly encouraged to create incident response plans and save only the data that is absolutely necessary.

READ MORE: BBC Hit by Cyberattack, Compromising Sensitive Data of Over 25,000 Former and Current Staff

What is Akira Ransomware

Akira ransomware, which emerged in March 2023, operates on a "ransomware-as-a-service" model, targeting Windows and Linux systems. In exchange for a share of the ransom, the group offers affiliates access to its infrastructure and software.

Victims are directed to a TOR site to negotiate payments, typically demanded in Bitcoin. 

The Akira ransomware group has already affected global sectors like education, finance, manufacturing, and healthcare. 

Although not the same ransomware group, UnitedHealth also reported a similar strategy from hackers, but VCPost reported that they paid $22 million to protect themselves.

READ NEXT: UnitedHealth CEO Admits Paying $22 Million to Change Healthcare Hackers

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