The hacker group that stole a major Israeli insurance company’s database said on Sunday that it had already “received offers” for it and plans to “sell it to the highest bidder.”

Calling itself “Black Shadow,” the group had demanded a ransom of 50 bitcoins—nearly $1 million—for the database, which was stolen from the Shirbit insurance company. The company has refused to pay.

The hackers have released several samples of the data, including documents containing names, addresses, phone numbers, credit-card information and drivers’ licenses of the company’s clients.

As the company has remained adamant in its refusal to pay, “Black Shadow” has upped the ransom, which now stands at 200 bitcoin, or nearly $4 million.

Shirbit has many civil servants among its clients, having won a government tender a few years ago.

If the company refuses to pay the ransom, Black Shadow has said it will auction off the database. Its social-media accounts claimed that it has received offers from multiple interested parties and promised “to address every request.”

Communication specialist Ronen Tzur, hired by Shirbit to manage the crisis, told Army Radio that the company has made a “strategic decision” not to pay the hackers.

“We will not cooperate with extortion attempts. The more digital the world becomes, the more prevalent such hacks could become, and we will not cooperate with them,” he said.

He noted that “this was not a regular ransomware attack. The hackers went public even before they contacted the company.”

He further stressed that no viable credit-card information from Shirbit clients had been compromised.

This article first appeared in Israel Hayom.


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