Couple delete Holiday Inn data for fun after failed ransomware attack

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A Vietnamese couple deleted Holiday Inn data from computers after their ransomware attack failed, claiming they did it for fun.

The pirates, who contacted the BBC on Saturday, September 17, said they had deleted the data “for fun”.

According to evidence provided by the couple, they said they were able to access the computers of Holiday Inn owners, International Hotels Group (IHG) with relative ease.

The group, which owns around 6,000 hotels, received numerous complaints in the week saying people were having trouble booking. The company initially responded saying the system was under maintenance, before admitting they were the subject of a hacking attempt.

Calling themselves TeaPea, the hackers used an encrypted Telegram message to contact the BBC. They provided images as proof of the hack, images that the company has confirmed are genuine.

Footage shows the hackers gained access to Microsoft Teams servers, emails and chats, but were unable to use that access to install ransomware because the company isolated the servers before they could. TO DO.

Instead, the couple who deleted the Holiday Inn data said, “Our attack was originally planned to be ransomware, but the company’s IT team continued to isolate the servers before we had had a chance to deploy it, so we thought we had some [sic]. We did a wiper attack instead.

“We don’t feel guilty, really. We prefer to have a legal job here in Vietnam but the salary is on average $300 (€300) per month. I’m sure our hack won’t do much harm to the company.

IHG says customer-facing systems are returning to normal, though disruptions continue to occur as the company works to rebuild data. Although the hackers say they didn’t take any data that hasn’t been confirmed by IHG yet.

The hackers said they gained access to IHG’s internal computer network by tricking an employee into downloading malware, which gave them access. After that, they were able to use weak passwords to access systems.

An IHG spokeswoman told the BBC that the password vault details were secure. She went on to say that they had to evade “multiple layers of security”, adding that “IHG employs a defense-in-depth strategy for information security that leverages many modern security solutions.”

The incident in which the couple deleted Holiday Inn data shows how malicious hackers can be and how difficult it can be to protect company systems.


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