Hackers commited a devastating cyber attack on Holiday Inn
owner Intercontinental Hotels Group (IHG) "for fun," BBC reports.
TeaPea hackers from Vietnam contacted BBC journalists via Telegram. They said they initially attempted a ransomware attack and then deleted a large amount of data when they were thwarted.
The attackers gained access to internal Outlook emails, Microsoft Teams chats and company server directories and FTSE 100 databases. They hacked into IHG's internal IT network, tricking an employee into downloading malware through an email attachment. They also bypassed an additional security request message sent to the employee's devices as part of a two-factor authentication system. Then, according to the criminals, they gained access to the most sensitive parts of IHG's computer system by finding login credentials to the company's internal password vault. The password was Qwerty1234.
One of the hackers said:
Our attack was originally planned to be a ransomware but the company's IT team kept isolating servers before we had a chance to deploy it, so we thought to have some funny. We did a wiper attack instead.
The hackers reported that no customer data was stolen.
An IHG spokeswoman denied that the password vault data was insecure, saying the attacker had to bypass "multiple layers of security.”