(Reuters) – A Toshiba Corp. unit said it was hacked by the DarkSide ransomware group, which overshadowed an announcement of a strategic review for the Japanese conglomerate under pressure from activist shareholders to seek suitors.
Toshiba Tec Corp. , which manufactures products such as bar code printers and is valued at $ 2.3 billion, was hacked by the DarkSide group, which is widely believed to be behind the latest attack by the Colonial Pipeline, said its French subsidiary.
However, it added that only a minimal amount of work data had been lost.
"There are about 30 groups within DarkSide trying to hack companies all the time, and this time they succeeded with Toshiba," said Takashi Yoshikawa, senior malware analyst at Mitsui Bussan. Safe instructions.
Employees who have access to the company's computer system from home during pandemic closures have made companies more vulnerable to cyber attacks, he added.
Screenshots of DarkSide's posts from the cy bersecurity firm said that more than 740 gigabytes of information was compromised and contained passports and other personal information.
Reuters could not access DarkSide's public website on Friday. Security researchers said that DarkSide's sites were no longer available.
Ransomware attacks have increased in number and number of claims, with hackers encrypting data and seeking payment in cryptocurrency to unlock it. They also release increasingly stolen information as well, or threaten if they are not paid more.
Ireland's health service said on Friday that it had shut down its IT systems after what it described as a "significant" attack on ransomware.
Investigators in the US colonial case say that the attack software was distributed by DarkSide, which includes Russian speakers and avoids hacking in the former Soviet Union. DarkSide allows "affiliates" to hack into targets elsewhere and then handles the redemption negotiations and data release. -private bid from CVC Capital this year, Toshiba said it had set up a strategic review committee and had appointed UBS as financial advisor.
The review will be conducted by independent board members and is designed to help the board consider a new business plan. will be presented by management in October.
The CVC offer met strong opposition within the company. Its plan to retain leadership was felt by some aimed at protecting former CEO Nobuaki Kurumatani from activist shareholders.
In a review of the company on Friday, 3D Investment Partners and Farallon Capital Management, its No. 2 and No. 3 shareholders, respectively, both criticized Toshiba for being reluctant to consider offering to go private.
CEO Satoshi Tsunakawa replied that the company has "no reluctance to consider various proposals to increase the value of companies, including going private."
Sources have said other private equity investors such as KKR & Co. Inc. and Bain Capital are interested in Toshiba.
But the newspaper Asahi reported on Friday that Bain Capital is not considering buying Toshiba, citing an interview with Yuji Sugimoto, the head of Bain Capital's operations in Japan.
Toshiba has been hit by accounting scandals, massive write ̵
But it remains one of Japan's few manufacturers of nuclear reactors and manufactures defense equipment, which means that any sale of it would require government approval.
Toshiba on Friday predicted a 63% increase in annual operating profit to 170 billion yen ($ 1.6 billion), recovering from pandemic-induced pain in the past year and as restructuring measures bear fruit. This follows a 20% reduction in earnings last year.
Toshiba also nominated four new board members after Kurumatani resigned last month. Mr Kurumatani had been under fire over allegations that investors were pressured before a shareholders' meeting last year to support the desired board nominations. Japanese. The probe will be completed before this year's Annual General Meeting on June 25.
Board nominations announced on Friday include George Olcott, a former UBS banker who is also an independent board member of Japanese beer maker Kirin Holdings.