Royal Mail, the UK’s national postal service, has been the victim of a ransomware attack by the LockBit gang. The attack has left the postal service unable to dispatch certain items overseas. LockBit is a notorious ransomware group that has been linked to Russian hackers. They have been known to demand large sums of money from their victims in exchange for unlocking their computer systems. In this case, the group demanded $80 million from Royal Mail, which the company refused to pay, calling the demand “absurd.” The story has been reported in a number of publications, including TechCrunch, Computer Weekly, and BankInfoSecurity.

According to chat logs published by LockBit, the hackers demanded that Royal Mail pay 0.5% of its earnings, which they said amounted to $80 million. Royal Mail refused to pay, saying that under no circumstances would it pay such an absurd amount of money. The chat logs, which are the first data that LockBit has published following the cyberattack on Royal Mail, suggest that negotiations between the two parties were ongoing for some time before the demand was made.

The attack has caused disruption to Royal Mail’s operations, with the company unable to dispatch certain items overseas. The attack comes at a time when the postal service is already under pressure due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which has led to an increase in demand for online shopping and home deliveries. Royal Mail is one of the UK’s largest employers, with around 140,000 staff, and any disruption to its operations can have a significant impact on the economy.

The LockBit group is known for its use of sophisticated ransomware attacks. The group has been active since at least September 2019 and is believed to be responsible for a number of high-profile attacks on businesses and government agencies. The group’s attacks involve encrypting the victim’s computer systems and demanding a ransom in exchange for the decryption key. In some cases, the group has threatened to publish the victim’s data online if the ransom is not paid.

Man with head in hands after his computer has just been infected with ransomware

The Royal Mail attack is just the latest in a series of high-profile ransomware attacks that have targeted businesses and government agencies around the world. In recent years, the number and severity of ransomware attacks have increased dramatically, with hackers targeting everything from hospitals to schools to government agencies. These attacks can be devastating, causing significant disruption to operations and costing businesses millions of dollars.

The rise in ransomware attacks has led to calls for greater investment in cybersecurity measures. Many businesses and organizations are now investing in technologies such as firewalls, antivirus software, and intrusion detection systems to protect themselves from cyber attacks. However, experts warn that no system is foolproof, and that businesses need to be prepared for the possibility of a cyber attack.

In the case of Royal Mail, the company’s decision not to pay the ransom has been praised by cybersecurity experts. Paying the ransom can encourage hackers to continue their attacks and can lead to a cycle of extortion. By refusing to pay, Royal Mail has sent a message that it will not be intimidated by cyber criminals and will take a tough stance against those who seek to disrupt its operations.

However, the decision not to pay the ransom has not come without its costs. The attack has caused significant disruption to Royal Mail’s operations, and the company will likely have to invest in additional cybersecurity measures to prevent future attacks. The attack has also damaged the company’s reputation, with some customers questioning the company’s ability to protect their data.

Overall, the Royal Mail ransomware attack highlights the growing threat posed by cyber criminals and the need for businesses and organizations to take cybersecurity seriously. As the world becomes increasingly interconnected, the risk of cyber attacks will only continue to grow, making it more important than ever for businesses to invest in the technologies and processes needed to protect themselves.