There is a long list of unreliable passwords that users should never use. One of the worst is password, but it continues to figure in hacking incidents. In one such case, the password password allowed hackers to break into the server, steal data and demand a ransom of $15 million from the victim.
The victim of the cyberattack was the South African division of the credit reporting giant TransUnion. The company processes credit data of more than 24 million South Africans.
The hacking was carried out by the Brazilian group N4ughtysecTU. As one of the representatives of the group told the Bleeping Computer publication, hackers gained access to TransUnion servers in South Africa using a simple brute force attack.
One of the accounts on the server was protected by a password, which takes about a second for modern hacking tools to select. TransUnion reports that the account belonged to one of its authorized customers.
Although TransUnion stated that the attack was not related to ransomware and affected only one “isolated server with a limited amount of data,” the hackers allegedly stole about 4 TB of data and demanded a ransom of $15 million.
TransUnion does not intend to pay the ransom. Hackers have prepared a backup plan for this case — N4ughtysecTU plans to offer selected TransUnion customers the opportunity to purchase “insurance”. “Insurance” comes down to the promise of hackers not to disclose the data of a particular client. It will cost small businesses $100 thousand. Large enterprises will be asked to pay $1 million.