Japanese Watchmaker Seiko Compromised by BlackCat Ransomware Group
Japanese Watchmaker Seiko Compromised by BlackCat Ransomware Group

Image: Mika Baumeister (unsplash)

The BlackCat/ALPHV ransomware group has listed Seiko on its extortion website, attributing to themselves the recent cyber incident the Japanese firm revealed.

Seiko ranks among the globe’s most prestigious watchmakers, boasting approximately 12,000 employees and a yearly turnover exceeding $1.6 billion.

On August 10th, 2023, Seiko shared an update about a data breach. This report highlighted an unauthorized entity accessing a section of their IT framework and possibly extracting data.

Seiko’s statement mentioned that on July 28, 2023, an undetermined entity had unauthorized entry into one of their servers. By August 2nd, Seiko had engaged external digital security specialists to scrutinize and evaluate the circumstances.

Consequently, the company expressed a considerable degree of certainty regarding the compromise and the potential exposure of information held by the firm and its affiliates.

Seiko extended its regrets to any affected clients and corporate allies, emphasizing the need for caution against potential deceptive communications masquerading as Seiko.

BlackCat acknowledges involvement

Recently, the BlackCat ransomware collective acknowledged orchestrating the Seiko breach, showcasing fragments of information they purportedly acquired during the intrusion.

Within their release, these threat players ridiculed Seiko’s IT defenses and divulged what seems to be production agendas, staff passport images, upcoming model plans, and unique lab evaluations.

Alarmingly, they showcased pieces of what they allege are proprietary technical blueprints and Seiko’s watch concepts.

Such revelations suggest BlackCat may hold Seiko’s intricate illustrations, encompassing proprietary innovations. Exposure of such information could be detrimental if rivals and copycats gain access.

BlackCat stands as one of the most sophisticated and infamous ransomware collectives, persistently refining its coercion strategies.

For instance, this group pioneered the use of a transparent online platform specifically for displaying compromised data. Even more recently, they developed a data disclosure API, facilitating the smoother dissemination of pilfered information.

BleepingComputer reached out to Seiko for further insights regarding the assertions made by the threat group. However, a reply was not obtained by the time this article went to press.