British jeweler sued his insurance company over refusing to pay $7.5 million for a bitcoin ransom. The hackers were paid by the jeweler to stop sensitive customer data being published.
Insurance Company Sued for Refusing To Cover Bitcoin Ransom Payment
Bloomberg reported that Graff, a luxury British Jeweler sued The Travelers Companies for refusing to pay a ransom Bitcoin payment.
After the Russian hacking group Conti threatened to leak data from the company’s major clients, including Middle East royalty, the jeweler paid $7.5 million in bitcoin ransom to Conti. Graff worked with hackers to negotiate the ransom amount and was able to lower it to $15 million.
Graff was attacked by Conti in September 2013 and the hackers leaked information about the royal families of Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) last year. Although they offered their condolences to the families, they said that Graff may require them to leak more data.
According to the hacking group, “Our goal was to publish as much Graff’s information about the financial declarations made US-UK-EU by the neoliberal plutocracy which engages in obnoxiously costly purchases when their countries are crumbling under economic pressure.”
Although ransom payments have been discouraged by authorities, they can be beneficial in certain circumstances, especially when the cyberattack has caused more damage than the ransom.
Cyber insurance policies may be offered by some insurers that include crypto ransom payments. Experts warn that insurance companies are funding organized crime by paying ransom payments to ransom-paying companies.
Ciaran Martin is the founder CEO of the British National Cyber Security Centre. He stated last year that people are “paying bitcoin to criminals and claiming cash back.” Companies are currently tempted to pay ransoms in order to ensure that this happens. It is important to seriously consider changing the law regarding insurance, banning ransom payments and, at the minimum, having a large consultation with the industry.
Graff demanded a ransom payment. A spokesperson for the company said that Graff was threatening to publish private transactions of customers. We took all steps necessary to protect their rights and negotiated a settlement that successfully negated the threat.
The jewel company also added:
Travelers’ attempts to avoid settlement of this insurance risk have left us extremely disappointed and frustrated. We have no other choice but to sue Travelers for this recovery.