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Diamond Comics Distributors hit by ransomware attack

Diamond Comics Distributors, an American comic book distributor, serving retailers in North America and worldwide, is experiencing a ransomware attack. Its website has already been down for five days.

The company, which transports comic books and graphic novels, as well as toys, games, and apparel from book publishers and suppliers, was forced to set up a short-term website to communicate with retailers.

"We've determined that the system issues we're experiencing are the result of a ransomware attack. These attacks have, unfortunately, become increasingly pervasive in recent months, impacting organizations around the world. We want to assure you that customer data and financial information is not stored on our network, and as such, we have no reason to believe it has been impacted by this attack," the company said.

With its website down since last Friday, Diamond Comics Distributors reported system issues affecting their order processes and communications.

"In addition to the investigation underway by our team of third-party forensic experts, we've also notified law enforcement. While some of our systems remain down, rest assured we are continuing to ship products and fill orders to the greatest extent we can," the company said.

Diamond Comics Distributors did not provide any more information about the ransom demand or the attack itself.

As one of the most potentially damaging and costly types of malware attacks, ransomware remains the kind of threat that keeps most administrators up at night. It is not a question of if, but when an organization experiences a cyberattack, believes Troy Gill, Senior Manager of Threat Intelligence at Zix | AppRiver.

"Unfortunately for Diamond Comic Distributors, they learned that a ransomware attack can have a significant impact on a company's ability to continue normal operations and distribute the product, especially compounded with increasing supply chain issues," Gill told CyberNews in an email.

While details of the attack have not been disclosed, this is an excellent reminder for companies to examine their email security solutions.

"Organizations can improve their security posture by deploying an email security solution that's capable of scanning incoming email messages for phishing campaign patterns, malware signatures, and other threat indicators – all while allowing legitimate correspondence to reach its intended destination. In addition to utilizing outside security services, companies need to educate employees on security best practices to help maintain the integrity of the organization, including encouraging employees to flag suspicious messages and attachments received via email," he said.

Gill also recommended following best practices, such as two-factor authentication or multi-factor authentication. Companies should also deploy regular security audits to identify vulnerabilities and suspicious user behavior and ensure business-critical data is being backed up accurately and regularly.

"It is a company's responsibility to have best proactive and reactive security measures in place so that when faced with a cybersecurity breach, an organization can reduce the recovery time and restore business quickly," he said.

Ransomware is a black hole

Cyberattacks are increasing in scale, sophistication, and scope. The last 12 months were ripe with major high-profile cyberattacks, such as the SolarWinds hack, attacks against the Colonial Pipeline, meat processing company JBS, and software firm Kaseya. Pundits talk of a ransomware gold rush, with the number of attacks increasing over 90% in the first half of 2021 alone.

Cybersecurity company Sophos called ransomware a black hole that is pulling in other cyberthreats to form one massive, interconnected ransomware delivery system – with significant implications for IT security.

An average data breach costs victims $4.24 million per incident, the highest in the 17 years. For example, the average cost stood at $3.86 million per incident last year, putting recent results at a 10% increase.

Ransomware, as well as other types of cyberattacks, Sophos claimed, is fueled by the unregulated cryptocurrency market.

“As a method of evading sanctions, cryptocurrencies are well suited to the task, which may be why criminals based in regions of the world that remain under traditional economic sanctions exclusively deal in cryptocurrency. Beyond that, because cryptocurrency is anonymous, it can be difficult to determine where the money ends up. And as cryptocurrency has gained favor in sanctioned countries, it’s not surprising that we’ve observed illicit cryptocurrency miners spreading in the wild that send their output to organizations based in those places where people cannot use the traditional banking system,” Sophos report reads.

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