Graff Diamonds pays $6.3 million in Bitcoin to Russian hackers

TL;DR Breakdown
  • In a massive “virtual heist,” cyber crooks leaked 69,000 sensitive documents
  • Graff subsequently handed over more than £6 million in ransom money in Bitcoin

Graff Diamonds paid $6.3 million to Russian hackers after leaking the personal information of world leaders, Hollywood A-listers, and billionaire tycoons on its client list.

The hackers made off with 69,000 sensitive documents in a “virtual heist” on the so-called “dark web,” including data on Oprah Winfrey, David Beckham, and Donald Trump.

In September of last year, according to law enforcement officials, the hackers demanded tens of millions of pounds in ransom money to prevent further leaks of sensitive information.

Customers’ names, invoices, receipts, and credit notes have all been obtained. These may be humiliating for clients who have given gifts to secret lovers or accepted bribes with jewelry.

Middle East royals have also been targeted by hackers, with Graff paying a staggering £6.1 million in ransom money via Bitcoin. In November, hackers Conti had initially demanded double that amount to a Bitcoin address.

Since then, though, the price of Bitcoin had dropped, implying that Graff paid the ransom when Bitcoin was at one of its most expensive levels. The 188 Bitcoin received is now valued at around £1.9 million.

According to the jeweler, Travelers Companies Inc, Graff’s insurance carrier has refused to compensate for the losses.

Graff pays ransom money to prevent further sensitive information from being leaked

According to Bloomberg, a Graff spokesperson said, ‘The criminals intimidated us into revealing the personal purchases of our clients. We were resolved to do everything possible to safeguard their interests. Therefore we worked out a settlement to eliminate the danger. We are very frustrated and disappointed by Travelers’ efforts to avoid payment of this insured risk.’

‘This is a tough situation for us to be in, and we are left with no choice but to pursue this matter through the High Court.’ Graff is reportedly taking the insurance companies to court in London to recoup the losses.

At the time of the data leak, Conti claimed that only 1% of the files it stole represented 11,000 of Graff’s well-heeled clients.

At least 600 British individuals have been impacted, including Formula One heiress Tamara Ecclestone and former player Frank Lampard, who was photographed leaving the flagship store in London with his spouse Christine Bleakley.

John Lincoln

John Lincoln

Lincoln contributes blockchain and crypto perspectives that meet the industry's selective information needs in a timely, undiluted fashion. His greatest wish is to share transformational technology through an engaging and easy-to-read style, making complex topics accessible to all.

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