• MediaMarkt, an electronics retailer, has been hit by a ransomware attack that has demanded $50 million in Bitcoin

  • MediaMarkt, a European electronics outlet, is reportedly investigating a Hive ransomware attack that began on Sunday evening, with the attackers demanding a multi-million-dollar ransom in Bitcoin.

    The attack is said to have encrypted and blocked the retailer’s key services, including its ability to accept credit cards and accept returns in some stores. According to reports, online sales are unaffected.

    The attackers reportedly demanded $240 million to release the encrypted data, but the ransom was quickly reduced. According to local reports, the demand is closer to $50 million now that MediaMarkt has begun negotiations with the attackers. According to reports, the attackers have demanded that this sum be paid in Bitcoin.

    Many important files and documents are effectively blocked when an entity is subjected to a ransomware attack. The attackers then demand a monetary payment in exchange for a decryptor that will allow them to release these files.

    MediaMarkt is Europe’s largest and most profitable electronics retailer, with over 1,000 stores across Europe and annual revenues of nearly $25 billion.

    Ransomware is on the rise.

    Along with the meteoric rise in crypto prices this year, ransomware attacks have increased in frequency and severity; according to blockchain data company Chainalysis, the total amount of stolen crypto from ransomware attacks had already reached $81 million by May of this year.

    The U.S. Colonial Pipeline hack was perhaps the most notable attack in recent months. Due to a ransomware attack, the large oil pipeline system responsible for servicing the Southeastern United States was forced to shut down in May of this year. As a result, many states in the region experienced fuel shortages until the company was able to resume operations.

    In the United States, the Department of Justice has classified ransomware threats as terrorism. The US government has also formed a task force to monitor these threats as they emerge. The US Treasury added P2P crypto exchange Chatex to its sanctions list earlier this week for facilitating ransomware payments.

    The hacker groups launching the attacks are numerous, with MediaMarkt’s attackers, known as Hive, representing just one of several.

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