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Spectacular ALPHV/BlackCat attack against VF Corporation

Ransomware gang openly mocks fashion giant management after latter’s attempt to negotiate ransom.

Cybercrime - January 08, 2024

At the end of December 2023, the ALPHV/BlackCat ransomware gang ridiculed the management of VF Corporation, the parent company of brands like The North Face, Vans and Timberland. The Russian-speaking cybercriminal group led a successful attack against the fashion giant, disrupting business operations in the middle of the holiday shopping season. Unhappy with the way talks were going, the hackers broke them off.

The company offered a sum that was significantly lower than the requested ransom, and significantly lower than what their insurance covered. They were thus hoping to keep their balance sheet clean. (…) Management clearly stated they would not pursue negotiations if we published this message; we do not care. Next time your negotiators will remember not to waste my time,” said the group in a message.

BlackCat claims to have a substantial database belonging to VF Corporation, which it is threatening to publish. The ransomware gang also acknowledged that, during this attack, the FBI managed to reach its display website and take it down. However the cybercriminals have since created a new website, and claim US authorities did no further damage.

Nonetheless, these statements should be taken with a grain of salt, as ALPHV/BlackCat tend to make brash claims.

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