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Ransomware Attack: Defense Contractor CPI Pays Hackers $500K – Report

U.S. defense contractor CPI suffered a ransomware attack in January 2020, paid hackers a $500,000 extortion fee, and is still recovering from the attack as of March 5, TechCrunch reports.

CPI, short for Communications & Power Industries, employs roughly 1,800 people and generated sales of roughly $504 million in fiscal 2019, the company’s website says. The company, based in Palo Alto, California, develops devices that generate, amplify, transmit and receive microwave signals for commercial and military applications.

CPI has hired a third-party forensic investigation firm to investigate the attack — which apparently involved a phishing incident, TechCrunch says.

Cyber crime victims have paid more than $140 million to ransomware attackers since 2014, a recent study by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) found.

At this point, the average ransomware demand is about $84,000 with one-third of victims paying the ransom, security specialist Emsisoft says.

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