The Lockbit cybergang has reportedly stolen thousands of blueprints from a SpaceX partner company and is threatening to release them to Elon Musk unless he pays up. The threat was posted on the Darknet appearance of the Lockbit group. The group claims to have successfully broken into Maximum Industries Inc., a SpaceX partner, and stolen roughly 3,000 blueprints certified by SpaceX engineers. The group has stated that the auction is set to begin on March 20 at 12:26 p.m. Central European Time, and it remains unclear what the ransom demand is or whether the group has leaked confidential business secrets.
Cyber attacks on IT infrastructures and subsequent blackmailing of victims through data encryption have become increasingly common. For instance, the Alphv cybergang recently claimed to have joined Amazon’s security subsidiary Ring and was reportedly blackmailing the firm. In Germany, Lockbit broke into the IT of the Dax group Continental and demanded a ransom of €50m for 40 terabytes of exfiltrated data. Continental has since written to affected parties whose personal data was stolen.
As cyber attacks continue to increase, research suggests that firms are not doing enough to prepare, with most businesses in the UK revealing that they lack a response plan for cybersecurity incidents. A collaborative study by KMPG and cyber risk assessment platform, CybSafe revealed that only a third of companies in the UK are currently considering cyber risks when planning business continuity and incident management strategies. Cybersecurity experts argue that companies should prioritize cybersecurity given the rise in cyber attacks and technological disruption.