Travelex Forced into Administration After Ransomware Attack
August 11, 2020 Share

Travelex Forced into Administration After Ransomware Attack

Ransomware victim Travelex has been forced into administration, with over 1000 jobs set to go.

PwC announced late last week that it had been appointed join administrators of the currency exchange business.

Despite operating over 1000 ATMs and 1000+ stores globally, and providing services for banks, supermarkets and travel agencies in over 60 countries, the firm was forced to cut over 1300 jobs as part of the restructuring.

“The impact of a cyber-attack in December 2019 and the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic this year has acutely impacted the business,” admitted PwC in a notice announcing the news.

The Sodinokibi (REvil) variant is believed to have struck the firm on New Year’s Eve last year, forcing its website offline and impacting its bricks-and-mortar stores and banking services. It took until January 17 for the firm to get its first customer-facing systems live again in the UK.

Unconfirmed reports at the time suggested that a critical unpatched vulnerability in Pulse Secure VPNs (CVE-2019-11510) may have allowed attackers to remotely execute malicious code. A security researcher said he reached out to the firm in September 2019 to flag the issue but was ignored.

It’s still unclear exactly how much these mistakes ended up costing the firm although reports suggested that the REvil gang was demanding a $6m (GBP4.6m) ransom in return for the decryption key and deletion of stolen customer data.

Parent company Finablr revealed in March that a combination of the cyber-attack and the hit to business from COVID-19 was predicted to cost the firm GBP25m in Q1 2020, although it also claimed that cyber-insurance would cover a large part of its outgoings.

PwC remained upbeat about the future of the company, following its GBP84 million restructuring.

“The completion of this transaction has safeguarded 1802 jobs in the UK and a further 3635 globally, and ensured the continuation of a globally recognized brand,” said joint administrator, Toby Banfield.

This post Travelex Forced into Administration After Ransomware Attack originally appeared on InfoSecurity Magazine.

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