IT Pro is supported by its audience. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more

Olympus hit by suspected ransomware attack

The former digital camera specialist has shut down its networks in Europe, Africa and the Middle East while it investigates the incident

Japanese tech giant Olympus has shut down its computer networks in Europe, Africa and the Middle East while it investigates a cyber attack on its systems. 

The firm didn't specify the type of attack, but sources told TechCrunch that Olympus was hit with ransomware in the early hours of 8 September.  

Details of the incident were shared with TechCrunch prior to Olympus' acknowledgement on Sunday, with claims a ransom note had been left behind on infected computers by the ransomware group 'BlackMatter'. 

"Your network is encrypted, and not currently operational," the note reads. "If you pay, we will provide you the programs for decryption." 

BlackMatter is a ransomware as a service group founded as a successor to a cohort of other hacker affiliations, which potentially includes DarkSide, the group that launched the ransomware attack on the Colonial Pipeline earlier in the year. Since June, security specialist Emsisoft has recorded more than 40 separate attacks attributed to BlackMatter, but suggests that the total number of hits could be "significantly higher".

BlackMatter's note to Olympus also includes a web address to a site that is only accessible through the Tor browser which is believed to be the preferred method of communication for the group. Olympus, however, has only alluded to "suspicious activity" and that a specialised response team, including forensic experts, are investigating. 

Related Resource

The state of ransomware in retail 2021

Insights into the current state of ransomware in the retail sector

Whitepaper front coverFree download

"We are currently working with the highest priority to resolve this issue," the firm said in a statement. "As part of the investigation, we have suspended data transfers in the affected systems and have informed the relevant external partners.

"We are currently working to determine the extent of the issue and will continue to provide updates as new information becomes available. We apologise for any inconvenience this has caused."

Olympus manufactures optical and digital reprography technology for medical and life science businesses but is perhaps more famous for its former speciality in digital cameras. However, the firm sold that part of its business in January due to poor sales. 

Featured Resources

The state of Salesforce: Future of business

Three articles that look forward into the changing state of Salesforce and the future of business

Free Download

The mighty struggle to migrate SAP to the cloud may be over

A simplified and unified approach to delivering Enterprise Transformation in the cloud

Free Download

The business value of the transformative mainframe

Modernising on the mainframe

Free Download

The Total Economic Impact™ Of IBM FlashSystem

Cost savings and business benefits enabled by FlashSystem

Free Download

Recommended

Ransomware now strikes one in 40 organisations per week, Check Point finds
ransomware

Ransomware now strikes one in 40 organisations per week, Check Point finds

27 Jul 2022
What is zero trust?
network security

What is zero trust?

14 Jul 2022
Retbleed hardware-level flaw brings overhead woe to Intel and AMD
Hardware

Retbleed hardware-level flaw brings overhead woe to Intel and AMD

13 Jul 2022
An analysis of the European cyber threat landscape
Whitepaper

An analysis of the European cyber threat landscape

8 Jul 2022

Most Popular

Why convenience is the biggest threat to your security
Sponsored

Why convenience is the biggest threat to your security

8 Aug 2022
How to boot Windows 11 in Safe Mode
Microsoft Windows

How to boot Windows 11 in Safe Mode

29 Jul 2022
Microsoft successfully tests emission-free hydrogen fuel cell system for data centres
data centres

Microsoft successfully tests emission-free hydrogen fuel cell system for data centres

29 Jul 2022