Newspaper claims that AKVA group paid its ransom in Bitcoin

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AKVA group would not comment.

It was just after the New Year, more precisely, on January 10th, that the equipment manufacturer AKVA group had been hit hard by a cyber attack.

When presenting the report for the first quarter, the company took a loss of EUR 5 million, of which EUR 4 million was direct costs to third parties.

AKVA group has not commented on whether the company has paid a ransom to the cyber attackers.

“For the record. We have not commented on any payment of a ransom, nor will we. We have reported direct costs of NOK 40.7 million (EUR 4 million .ed) related to our computer attack. We have had a team of external data specialists (15-20 people) who have worked for us since 10/1/201 in the case of data recovery. We expect this work to be completed in June. We have posted all costs with this for Q1,” CEO Knut Nesse told the newspaper Dagens Næringsliv.

However, DN’s equity commentator Thor Chr. Jensen is confident that the company has paid a ransom – in cryptocurrency.

“One must not be a fortune teller to see that AKVA Group has paid a fortune in ransom – and probably in bitcoin,” he writes.

“Assume five months of work and 20 IT experts, which gives about eight man-years which at NOK 1.5 million per man (EUR 0.1 million .ed) year will cost about NOK 12 million (EUR 1.2 million .ed). So probably have to put on a margin at the top since the IT experts have probably delivered a package. But for the sake of the calculation, assuming NOK 12 million (EUR 1.2 .ed) the difference will then be NOK 40.7 million (EUR 4 million .ed) of NOK 28 million (EUR 2.8 million. ed) which may thus be the ransom demand for a large part,” he said.

“Most ransom demands are in Bitcoin, but other cryptocurrencies have also been used. With a price of USD 50,000 per bitcoin, this equals 68 Bitcoin,” Jensen wrote in his daily stock exchange commentary on Tuesday.