Pottery Firm targeted in “Potty” Cyber Attack

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A Stoke-on-Trent pottery business, Steelite International, was blackmailed by Cyber-thieves when they managed to identify a vulnerability within their IT system and ‘locked out’ the company from their systems just before payday. The company was sent a message asking for 79 Bitcoins by the international cyber gang.

However, the cyber-attack failed to identify and freeze out access to the backup facilities employed by Steelite International. Their IT team managed to undertake a full backup and restore operation which resulted in the company reclaiming their IT systems from the criminals.

The company’s boss, Jon Cameron, stated:

“The hacker asked for 79 Bitcoins. One Bitcoin is worth around £2,500 so it wasn’t an unsubstantial amount. But we wouldn’t be held to ransom, we have not replied.

Thankfully, the hacker didn’t have a chance to encrypt our back-up files, which meant that the IT team could restore function and prevent a potential catastrophe.

Though one of the files targeted was the payroll file, the IT team’s actions meant staff payments were not affected.

Panic mode did set in initially but thanks to the fantastic work of the IT team working through the night to build the server again, we made sure the hackers didn’t get what they wanted.”

As cyber-criminals target SME micro businesses in their ever-growing capacity to extort more and more vulnerabilities in networks for financial gain, there is a growing imperative for more businesses to focus on cyber-security. If you’d like to find out more about cyber-security and how you could improve your company’s cyber-security approach you can visit the Government’s Cyber Aware website to find out more.

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