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Hackers using 'big game hunting' tactics to target businesses

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Digital criminals are stepping up their attacks on businesses using a new tactic described as “big game cyber hunting” to extort ransom from victims, law firm Clyde and Co says.

A recent ransomware attack on Xchanging, the insurance procurement arm of global IT services firm DXC Technology, illustrates the escalating threat facing the business community.

“Australia, like many other countries, is currently experiencing a new wave of ransomware incidents,” Clyde and Co Partner John Moran told insuranceNEWS.com.au.

Mr Moran, who leads the firm’s cyber incident response practice, says hackers are no longer content with just stealing data in the hope of securing bitcoin payment from their targets.

“Our team is seeing a shift away from the more ‘routine’ incidents. The risk landscape has evolved to sophisticated and well-planned attacks, with organisations being profiled and hand-picked as targets,” Mr Moran said.

“The threat around encryption of systems is now more frequently than not coupled with a threat of data theft and for that data to be ‘dumped’ or auctioned online.”

DXC has declined to comment on the Xchanging attack, beyond issuing a brief statement citing an ongoing investigation by law enforcement and security authorities.

The statement says the cyber incident was “isolated” to the Xchanging environment and attacked “certain systems” of the business.

It is unclear at this stage if the cyber breach affected any of Xchanging’s clients in Australia.

A spokesman for WorkSafe Victoria, which has Xchanging as one of its workers’ compensation agents, told insuranceNEWS.com.au it has been advised by DXC that the ransomware attack did not impact its operations.