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Monday, 06 April 2020 08:09

Algerian petroleum JV hit by Maze ransomware, data posted online Featured

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Algerian petroleum JV hit by Maze ransomware, data posted online Pixabay

The Maze ransomware group has posted data from Berkine, a joint venture between Sonatrach, the state-owned oil company of Algeria, and the US firm formerly known as Anadarko Petroleum Corporation, through its subsidiary Anadarko Algeria Company.

The information, tweeted out by the data breach monitoring and prevention service Under the Breach, said the material posted online included information about investment plans, financial details, and plenty of sensitive files.

The Maze group posted the information online on 1 April.

Anadarko was acquired by Occidental in 2019 and renamed Oxy Occidental. The company recorded US$13 billion in revenue in 2018.

The people behind Maze not only encrypt a victim's data — as happens with all Windows ransomware — but also exfiltrate it before the encryption process begins, so that they can use it to pressure the victim to pay whatever ransom has been demanded.

Initially, a little data is released. If the victim proves intractable, more data is leaked. If the victim still resists, then the Maze group also posts the data to hacker forums on the dark web, urging the people who frequent these forums to use the data for phishing or any other activity they wish to use it for.

Sonatrach was founded in 1963 and, according to Wikipedia, is the biggest company in Algeria. It has 40,000 employees and annual revenues of about US$39 billion.

The Maze group recently attacked global insurer Chubb and Australian freight forwarding firm Henning Harders.

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Sam Varghese

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Sam Varghese has been writing for iTWire since 2006, a year after the site came into existence. For nearly a decade thereafter, he wrote mostly about free and open source software, based on his own use of this genre of software. Since May 2016, he has been writing across many areas of technology. He has been a journalist for nearly 40 years in India (Indian Express and Deccan Herald), the UAE (Khaleej Times) and Australia (Daily Commercial News (now defunct) and The Age). His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.

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