2019 ransomware attack on Teamsters. However, they refused to pay.


New reports reveal that the International Brotherhood of Teamsters was the target of ransomware in 2019. The US and Canadian labor unions simply refused to pay.

Teamsters was asked for $2.5million, but decided to rebuild its entire network rather than bow to the demands from the attackers. NBC News reported. Based on information shared anonymously by sources

Sources familiar with the attack claim that even back then, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), advised the union to pay the ransom. This is far from its current position.

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Teamsters officials contacted the FBI to ask for assistance in identifying the attacker. They were informed that this wasn’t an isolated incident, and that they had plenty of work ahead.

One of the anonymous sources said that “this is happening all across D.C…. we are not doing anything about it,” according to NBC News.

There is no easy way out

Sources claimed that Teamsters officials had initially bargained over the dark internet with the attackers, and negotiated the ransom to $1.1 million.

The FBI was not the only group to advise, and the insurance company advised the group to not settle with the attackers. This is why they decided that their network would be restored from .

NBC News was told by a spokesperson for the Teamsters that the attackers managed to lock only one of the union’s email systems, along with other data. However, personal information of millions of its members, active and retired, was never compromised.

A spokesperson for Teamsters stated that although it was possible to restore almost all its data from backups and some of it needed to be imported from hardcopies.

Tip of an iceberg

These were simpler times and ransomware gangs didn’t know double extortion.

There were no leak threats and no data was stolen. Threat actors could refuse to pay if a victim did not pay and would simply move on to the next target.

Nevertheless, this revelation highlights yet again how many organizations don’t share information about attacks.

We wouldn’t have discovered that the group attacked 2934 targets if it weren’t for Avaddon’s release of the decryption keys to their victims. This is a shockingly high number when compared with the mere 88 victims.

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