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Hacker attack against SIAE, ransom requested in Bitcoin

The SIAE has suffered a ransomware hacker attack with a payment request in Bitcoin

SIAE is Italy’s copyright protection agency and has long been active on the blockchain front. 

Hacker attack against SIAE

According to Ansa, the attack was a data breach, claimed by the Everest group. A good 60 gigabytes of data were stolen from the SIAE. The cybercriminal group is threatening to sell the 28,000 stolen documents on the dark web. There would be identity cards and driving licences, addresses, contracts, IBAN and other sensitive data. 

SIAE and the Bitcoin ransom: We will not pay

Hackers allegedly demanded a $3 million ransom in Bitcoin

The Italian Society of Authors and Publishers reported the attack to the postal police, who are now investigating. According to Ansa, phishing attempts had already been registered in the past. 

Director-General Gaetano Blandini has already stated that SIAE will not pay

“SIAE will not follow up on the ransom demand. We have already filed a complaint with the postal police and the privacy guarantor, as is our policy. And we will then promptly inform all authors who have been subject to the attack. We will constantly monitor the progress of the situation and try to secure the data of SIAE members”.


The blockchain world and SIAE

SIAE has proved to be a very innovative company. It has long had a partnership with Algorand for the protection of copyright with certificates on the blockchain.

In recent months, this relationship has been consolidated to work on the launch of an NFT platform, an evolution that is sweeping the entire art world with the music industry not far behind.

Ransomware: Italy vulnerable

The SIAE hack demonstrates the vulnerability of Italian institutions in terms of IT security. In recent months, the website of the Lazio Region was the victim of a hacker attack with a ransom demand. The amount was never disclosed. At the time, the entire healthcare system went haywire, including the platform for booking Covid-19 vaccines. Months later, not all services have been restored.

These cases confirm the need for greater attention and protection against cyber threats. With Covid, these kinds of incidents have become more frequent, thanks to smart working. Despite the caution, attacks are becoming more sophisticated, even against prominent victims.

Eleonora Spagnolo
Eleonora Spagnolo
Journalist passionate about the web and the digital world. She graduated with honours in Multimedia Publishing at the University La Sapienza in Rome and completed a master's degree in Web and Social Media Marketing.