Station Road, Sidcup

How can we help?

Please fill in this form and we'll get back to you as soon as possible.

Please enter your name
Please enter your email address
Please enter your telephone number
Please enter a question
Please let us know how you heard about us
Please enter the verification code

We’ll only use this information to handle your enquiry and we won’t share it with any third parties. For more details see our Privacy Policy

High Court Aids Company Facing $6.8 Million Ransomware Demand

Even the most sophisticated companies can fall victim to ransomware and online blackmail. However, as a High Court ruling showed, judges have a formidable arsenal of powers to tackle such abuse and are on duty day and night.

The case concerned a company that provides technology-led solutions for security-sensitive and highly classified projects of national significance and whose clients require the utmost discretion. It received a ransom note stating that cyber attackers had hacked into its databases and that highly confidential information would be published on the dark web unless a ransom of $6.8 million was paid.

Some of the data stolen by the hackers was protected by the Official Secrets Act 1989 as well as being extremely commercially sensitive. Individuals could, in some cases, be identified from the data, which was likely to be of interest to various categories of people with malicious intent, including hostile nation states, terrorists and organised criminal gangs.

After the company took emergency action, a judge granted an interim injunction against the hackers in the early hours of the morning. The order forbade them from using or disclosing the stolen data. Following a more formal hearing, the Court had no hesitation in awarding the company summary judgment on its breach of confidentiality claim and in making the injunction permanent.

The hackers had yet to be identified but had a history of using their own dark web platform as an instrument of blackmail. The injunction was served on them using email addresses via which they had made the ransom demand. Given the nature of the company's work, the Court was satisfied that it should be granted anonymity in the proceedings. Its claim for damages and legal costs against the hackers was adjourned but could be restored for hearing at a later date.

The contents of this article are intended for general information purposes only and shall not be deemed to be, or constitute legal advice. We cannot accept responsibility for any loss as a result of acts or omissions taken in respect of this article.