London: The Intercontinental Hotels Group (IHG), owner of Holiday Inn, was the target of a destructive cyberattack by hackers who claimed they did it “for fun”. According to the BBC, IHG identified the hackers as a couple from Vietnam who claimed that after attempting a ransomware attack, which failed, the duo erased a significant amount of data. The hackers accessed the FTSE 100 company’s databases and quickly discovered that the password was Qwerty1234.Also Read – Durga Puja 2022: Bengal Police Issues Alert On Rise In Travel Fraud Ahead Of Festivities
The hackers, calling themselves TeaPea, contacted the BBC on encrypted messaging app, Telegram, providing screenshots as proof they had carried out the hack. The images, which IHG has confirmed are authentic, show they had access to the company’s internal Outlook emails, Microsoft Teams chats and server directories. Also read – This company hacks accounts by taking money; Your personal information can be breached at any time
“Our attack was originally planned to be ransomware, but the company’s IT team continued to isolate the servers before we had a chance to deploy it, so we thought we had [sic]. We did a wiper attack instead,” said one of the hackers. A wiper attack is a cyber attack that irreversibly destroys data, documents and files. An expert said the case highlights the vindictive side of criminal hackers. Also Read – Popular Password Management Platform Lastpass Hacked, Source Code Data Stolen
A few more things to know about this big story about IHG’s data hack:
- UK-based IHG operates 6,000 hotels worldwide, including the Holiday Inn, Crowne Plaza and Regent brands.
- On Monday last week, customers reported widespread issues with reservations and check-ins, according to the report.
- For 24 hours, IHG responded to complaints on social media, saying the company was “undergoing system maintenance.” Then on Tuesday afternoon, it told investors it had been hacked.
- IHG said customer-facing systems are returning to normal, but services may remain intermittent.
- The hackers showed no remorse for the disruption they caused the company and its customers.
- “We don’t feel guilty, really. We prefer to have a legal job here in Vietnam, but the salary is on average 300 dollars per month. I’m sure our hack won’t do much harm to the business,” the hackers said.
- The hackers said no customer data was stolen, but they did have some corporate data, including email records.