Hackers say they sold batch of information stolen from Israeli insurance firm

Black Shadow hacking group threatens to sell additional documents stolen from Shirbit, publishes image of CEO’s passport

Illustrative: Coins are displayed next to a Bitcoin ATM in Hong Kong, December 8, 2017. (AP Photo/Kin Cheung, File)
Illustrative: Coins are displayed next to a Bitcoin ATM in Hong Kong, December 8, 2017. (AP Photo/Kin Cheung, File)

Hackers who stole a vast trove of information from an Israeli insurance company said on Tuesday they had finished selling an initial batch of documents and threatened to sell additional information on the dark web.

A hacking group calling itself Black Shadow broke into the Shirbit insurance firm at the beginning of the month and opened ransom negotiations, but the company has refused to pay.

Channel 12 news reported that Black Shadow said on Tuesday, “The sale of the first package is finished. Now we are going to sell the second package.”

The group also released an image of the passport of Shirbit’s CEO, Zvi Leibushor, and identity documents for some of the company’s clients, the report said.

The offices of Shirbit insurance company, December 4, 2020 (Screen grab/Kan)

Shirbit said in response, “This is the psychological warfare we expected and is in regard to the same information that was already disseminated.”

“Shirbit’s defense systems blocked attack attempts and efforts to thwart attacks are ongoing and are coordinated with leading cyber experts and government officials,” the company said.

Black Shadow has leaked thousands of documents from the purloined hoard to the internet as a warning that it would carry out its threats. Many of Shirbit’s clients are from the public sector and images of private documents released included the vehicle registration and credit card details of an employee at the President’s Residence, as well as personal correspondence and a marriage certificate. Earlier leaks had reportedly included the personal details of the president of the Tel Aviv District Court.

The hackers have said they will leak or sell the information they obtained in their cyberattack if Shirbit Insurance does not pay a ransom of 50 bitcoins ($960,000 or NIS 3.1 million). Shirbit has held discussions with the hackers via text message, but has refused to pay.

Last week, bitcoins began moving into the hacking group’s online wallet, leading to fears the group had begun to sell the data. The Black Shadow account received a payment of five bitcoins, worth about $104,000, the Walla news website reported.

According to the report, the transfer was seen as a sign that the personal information of Israelis snatched from Shirbit was being sold to an unknown third party.

Due to the anonymous nature of bitcoin transfers, the holders of the account and whoever made the payment is hidden.

An emergency meeting earlier this month of the Knesset Science and Technology Committee to discuss the attack on Shirbit heard that there is no clear official state policy of paying a ransom for information.

The police’s Lahav 433 financial crimes unit opened an investigation into the hack, Hebrew media reported.

Shirbit specializes in real estate, auto and travel insurance. A month ago it won a bid to provide auto insurance for the country’s civil service employees during 2021, the Walla website reported.

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