RECIPE Unlimited Corp, the Canadian largest full-service restaurant company that owns brands including Swiss Chalet, Harvey’s and East Side Mario’s, suffered a ransomware attack that left many of its locations temporarily closed or with limited operations.

The hackers left a “ransom note” on the desktop of many computers affected by the cyberattack.  The note stated that “there is a significant hole in the security of your company” and that the data exposed was now encrypted by the hackers “with the strongest military algorithms.”  The note went on to say that the only way to decrypt and restore the data was to pay an unspecified amount in Bitcoin, with the price of the ransom going up by half a Bitcoin for every day of delay in payment.

Company spokesperson Maureen Hart downplayed the letter and the ransom, stating that they regularly back-up their systems to protect their files and there is “no indication that this limited malware incident has resulted in any data breach.”  Hart believes the ransom note in question was associated with a virus called Ryuk.  Check Point Research, an international cybersecurity company, recently wrote a blog post about Ryuk and how the virus’s ransom demands netted the hackers, allegedly based out of North Korea, over $830,000.

The restaurants have since opened for business, and the company, in a press release detailing the incident and actions being taken, provided no update as to whether the hackers were identified or whether any ransom was paid.

Summary By: Hashim Ghazi

E-TIPS® ISSUE

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