Security Experts:

Luxembourg Energy Company Hit by Ransomware

A known ransomware group has taken credit for a cyberattack on Creos, a company that owns and manages electricity networks and natural gas pipelines in Luxembourg.

In statements issued on July 25 and July 29, Creos parent company Encevo said various entities of the Encevo Group had been hit by a cyberattack that resulted in data becoming inaccessible and files being exfiltrated from its computers. This description suggests the attackers used file-encrypting malware after stealing potentially valuable files.

Encevo said gas and electricity supply has not been impacted by the attack, which it detected on the night of July 22. The company’s investigation is ongoing and it has yet to determine exactly what type of information has been compromised. As a precaution, users have been advised to change their passwords on Encevo websites — although some services may be offline following the breach.

The energy firm is working on determining who is impacted and it has asked customers not to contact it for the time being. A web page has been set up where the company shares updates on the incident, in both English and French. Law enforcement has been notified.

The attack appears to have been conducted by operators or affiliates of the ransomware known as BlackCat, Alphv and Noberus. On their Tor-based leak website, the cybercriminals claimed on July 29 that they stole 180,000 files, or roughly 150 Gb of information, including contracts, agreements, passports, bills, and emails. They have published a few screenshots to demonstrate their claims.

BlackCat ransomware attack on Creos

One of the screenshots shows a system apparently belonging to Balansys, a joint venture of Creos Luxembourg and Fluxys Belgium, which aims to provide a single integrated gas market for Belgium and Luxembourg.

The hackers claimed the stolen data would be made public on Monday, but there do not seem to be any additional leaked files on their website at the time of writing.

The BlackCat ransomware operation emerged in November 2021 and has since targeted many organizations worldwide. Cybersecurity firms have found links between BlackCat and the BlackMatter and DarkSide ransomware operations.

A data theft tool used by BlackCat suggests that the cybercriminals are increasingly interested in targeting industrial organizations. The operation also attracted the attention of the cybersecurity community recently after the creation of a searchable database with victim data, and a dedicated leak site for one victim in an effort to pressure them into paying up.

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Related: Swissport Investigating Ransomware Group's Data Leak Claims

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Eduard Kovacs (@EduardKovacs) is a contributing editor at SecurityWeek. He worked as a high school IT teacher for two years before starting a career in journalism as Softpedia’s security news reporter. Eduard holds a bachelor’s degree in industrial informatics and a master’s degree in computer techniques applied in electrical engineering.