Hong Kong Ballet reports data breach from ransomware attack, becomes third well-established city organisation to be hacked in 2 months | #ransomware | #cybercrime

Hong Kong Ballet has reported a data breach caused by a ransomware attack on its computer systems, becoming the third well-established organisation in the city to be hacked in two months.

In an official statement released on Monday night, the renowned cultural institution said it had recently discovered its network systems had been infected with ransomware, allowing intruders to illegally access files stored on computers.

Data including personal user details and the organisation’s internal information had been viewed by the intruders, while it was still working to determine the full scope of data accessed, it said in the statement.

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But due to file encryption by the ransomware, the organisation added it was unable to determine the contents of all files illegally accessed.

“We take this matter seriously and are diligently working to address the issue promptly and responsibly,” the institution, founded in 1979, said, expressing regret over the matter.

It also added it had not received any ransom demands or threats of data leak so far.

The company said it had immediately launched an internal investigation upon detecting the incident and hired external cybersecurity experts to assess the extent of the breach and implement measures.

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The ballet institution, financially backed by the government, also notified police and the Office of the Privacy Commissioner for Personal Data.

It urged partners to remain vigilant and take precautionary measures such as regularly changing passwords, monitoring financial statements, and exercising caution when handling suspicious messages.

Users should also be wary of potential phishing attempts and to only share personal information through official channels, it warned, adding efforts had been made to contain the incident and prevent further unauthorised access to internal systems.

Data stolen from Hong Kong Cyberport includes staff details, credit card records

Early last month, international hackers demanded a ransom of HK$2.35 million (US$300,500) after hacking into tech hub Cyberport’s computers and stealing more than 400 gigabytes of information belonging to start-ups, including personal details of staff.

Later that month, the Consumer Council also fell victim to hackers, with personal data of current and former staff, as well as that of more than 8,000 monthly subscribers of its Choice magazine compromised. Hackers also threatened to leak the information if a US$500,000 ransom was not paid.

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