Toshiba Corp. (6502.T) said it was hacked by the DarkSide ransomware group, overshadowing the strategic review message for the Japanese conglomerate under pressure from activist shareholders to look for suitors.
Toshiba Tec Corp. (6588.T), which makes $ 2.3 billion worth of barcode printers, has been hacked by DarkSide, the group believed to be behind the recent colonial pipeline attack. subsidiary.
“There are about 30 groups on DarkSide trying to hack companies all the time, and this time they succeeded with Toshiba,” said Takashi Yoshikawa, a senior malware analyst at Mitsui Bussan Secure Directions.
Employees who have access to corporate computer systems from home during a pandemic blockade have made companies more vulnerable to cyberattacks, he added.
Screenshots of the DarkSide publication, provided by the cybersecurity firm, say more than 740 gigabytes of information have been compromised and include passports and other personal information.
Reuters was unable to access DarkSide’s public website on Friday. Security researchers say many DarkSide websites have stopped being accessible.
Ransomware attacks have increased in number and demand, with hackers encrypting data and seeking payment in cryptocurrency to unlock it. They are increasingly releasing stolen data or threatening unless they are paid more.
Ireland’s health service said Friday it had shut down its IT systems after what it described as a “significant” ransomware attack. Read more
Investigators into the US colonial case say the attack software was distributed by DarkSide, which included Russian-speakers and avoided hacking targets in the former Soviet Union. DarkSide allows “affiliates” to infiltrate other targets, then handles ransom negotiation and data release. Read more
Amid calls from shareholders to explicitly seek offers from potential suitors after rejecting a $ 20 billion private offer from CVC Capital this year, Toshiba said it was setting up a strategic review committee and appointed UBS (UBSG.S) as financial advisor.
The review will be conducted by independent directors and aims to help the board consider a new business plan to be presented by management by October.
CVC’s proposal met with strong opposition in the company. Her management plan has been seen by some as aimed at protecting former CEO Nobuaki Kurumatani from shareholder activists.
At a briefing on Friday, 3D Investment Partners and Farallon Capital Management, its shareholders №2 and No. 3, respectively, criticized Toshiba for not being willing to consider offers to go private.
CEO Satoshi Tsunakawa responded that the company “is reluctant to consider various proposals to increase corporate value, including becoming private.”
Sources say other private equity investors such as KKR & Co Inc (KKR.N) and Bain Capital are interested in Toshiba. Read more
However, the Asahi newspaper reported on Friday that Bain Capital was not considering buying Toshiba, citing an interview with Yuji Sugimoto, head of Bain Capital’s Japanese operations.
Drenched in accounting scandals, massive write-offs of its nuclear business in the United States, and the sale of its chip, Toshiba is a shadow of its former self.
But it remains one of the few Japanese manufacturers of nuclear power reactors and produces defense equipment, which means that any sale will not require government approval.
Toshiba on Friday forecast 63% growth in annual operating profit to 170 billion yen ($ 1.6 billion), recovering from the pain caused by the pandemic last year and as restructuring measures bear fruit. This follows a 20% drop in profit last year.
Toshiba also nominated four new board members after Kurumatani resigned last month. Kurumatani came under fire for allegations that investors were under pressure before a shareholders’ meeting last year to support the coveted nominations on board.
In March, shareholders successfully voted in favor of an independent investigation into the allegations, marking a groundbreaking victory for corporate governance in Japan. The probe is due to end before this year’s annual general meeting on June 25th.
The nominations announced on Friday include George Olcott, a former UBS banker who is also an independent board member of Japanese beer maker Kirin Holdings (2503.T).
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