London Offshore Consultants suffers ransomware attack

UK marine engineering consultancy London Offshore Consultants (LOC) Group has been hacked by a group known as Maze.

The company, with more than 400 employees, saw its computers frozen on December 30 with hackers then demanding a ransom to unlock them.

The hackers claimed that 300GB of information was stolen from the company with some files leaked online in an attempt to force LOC Group to pay a ransom.

LOC said in a statement sent to Splash that the attacks saw a data breach confined to a single site, affecting a small number of clients, who were notified without delay.

Commenting on the incident, LOC’s CEO, R.V Ahilan, said: “Any IT attack is deeply regrettable and unsettling for our clients, and our own teams. I would therefore again like to apologise for the inconvenience to the small number of clients affected, and to give all of those we work with the assurance that we take our IT security extremely seriously. We continue to make significant investments to ensure our systems remain robust. I would like to thank those involved in limiting the impact for their swift and professional response.”

LOC Group, founded in 1979, has a number of brands it controls incuding Longitude, Innosea and John LeBourhis. Headquartered in London, the company operates over 35 offices located in Europe, Africa, Americas, Middle East, Asia and Australia.

Earlier this month the FBI in Washington warned about the growing threat posed by the Maze ransomware attacks since early November last year which have seen the hackers often pose as a government agency, stealing data and then encrypting it to further extort victims.

“From its initial observation, Maze used multiple methods for intrusion, including the creation of malicious look-a-like cryptocurrency sites and malspam campaigns impersonating government agencies and well-known security vendors,” the FBI advisory stated.

Sam Chambers

Starting out with the Informa Group in 2000 in Hong Kong, Sam Chambers became editor of Maritime Asia magazine as well as East Asia Editor for the world’s oldest newspaper, Lloyd’s List. In 2005 he pursued a freelance career and wrote for a variety of titles including taking on the role of Asia Editor at Seatrade magazine and China correspondent for Supply Chain Asia. His work has also appeared in The Economist, The New York Times, The Sunday Times and The International Herald Tribune.
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