- Luxury jeweller Graff Diamonds is suing its insurer, claiming that the $7.5 million ransom payment should be covered under its coverage, after paying the ransom in Bitcoin.
- The issue now is for the insurer to reimburse them because the ransom payment was made in November 2021.
- Graff thus paid the ransom at one of Bitcoin’s all-time high prices.
A Russian hacker group demanded $7.5 million in Bitcoin from Graff Diamonds Corp, a worldwide jewelry firm with offices in London, after receiving threats over the exposure of client data. Graff Diamonds Corp. is a diamond business that specializes in rough diamond cutting and polishing as well as the creation, production, and retail sale of fine jewelry and timepieces.
As per Bloomberg, they reportedly had the data of their well-known clients stolen and were coerced by hackers to pay a ransom in Bitcoin to keep it secret.
According to reports, the Conti Group launched the ransomware campaign in September 2021. The royal families of Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and Qatar were particularly worried by some of the stolen material; as a result, the Conti Group itself eventually issued an apology to them. However, it had warned Graff Diamonds that it would leak further information.
Conti apologized to the families in an unprecedented move for the hacking gang while threatening to release more of Graff’s data.
At the time, the organization stated, “Our goal is to disclose as much of Graff’s material regarding the financial statements made by the US-UK-EU neo-liberal plutocracy, which participates in obscenely expensive purchases when their nations are disintegrating under economic duress.”
On November 3, 2021, Conti agreed to pay Graff half of his initial $15 million demand for a Bitcoin wallet in order to stop the release of more of his data. Graff paid the ransom at one of Bitcoin’s highest rates because the price of the cryptocurrency has since fallen sharply.
Whether Conti accepted the Bitcoin payment at this time is still unknown. On November 4, 118 Bitcoins would have been the equivalent of Graff’s payment; but, on Tuesday in London, 118 Bitcoins were only worth a little over $2.3 million.
A Graff spokeswoman claimed that “the fraudsters threatened the targeted publication of our clients’ private purchases.” “We were committed to taking every precaution to protect their interests, therefore we negotiated a payment that successfully neutralized this threat,” the statement continued.
According to a representative for Graff, the company is so angry and dissatisfied with the insurer’s efforts to delay settlement that they were forced to take the matter to the High Court.
Unfortunately, these cyberattacks are becoming more frequent, as Chainalysis informed the US Senate a few weeks ago.
Furthermore, there is no new information regarding the hack’s investigation by the legal authorities. The potential tracking of the BTC sent could potentially result in the recovery of a portion of the ransom if it hasn’t yet been completely spent.
This would only be a very little recovery, though, given the present value of any BTC that isn’t sold at that point is substantially smaller.