A Russian hacking group has reportedly gained access to the personal information of a raft of A-listers by hacking the exclusive London-based jewellery firm Graff.
A-listers and multi-millionaires including Oprah Winfrey, the Beckham family and Sir Philip Green have all been affected, according to a report in the Mail on Sunday
The Russian hacking group Conti has claimed responsibility for the attack, according to the newspaper, and has already posted 69,000 documents on the dark web.
The group said the already published information represents about one per cent of the total files stolen, and is demanding tens of millions of pounds in ransom money to stop more being published.
British celebrities named so far in the attack include Tamara Ecclestone and Frank Lampard, while international customers reportedly include Donald and Melania Trump and Alec Baldwin.
The Information Commissioner’s Office, the UK’s data protection regulator, confirmed it is investigating the data breach. The regulator has the power to issue fines of up to £20 million or 4% of a company’s annual revenue, though such fines are rare.
Graff also confirmed the attack and said it has informed customers. A spokesperson told the Mail on Sunday: “Regrettably we, in common with a number of other businesses, have recently been the target of a sophisticated – though limited – cyber attack by professional and determined criminals.
“We were alerted to their intrusive activity by our security systems, allowing us to react swiftly and shut down our network. We notified, and have been working with, the relevant law enforcement agencies and the ICO.
“We have informed those individuals whose personal data was affected and have advised them on the appropriate steps to take.”
Cyber experts said the group will likely request payment in a cryptocurrency such as Bitcoin, which is harder for authorities to trace back to individuals.
Philip Ingram, a former colonel in British military intelligence, said the attack had major implications. “Given the profile of the customer database, this is absolutely massive.
“This is going to bring the highest levels of international law enforcement down on the gang, and that’s going to give them a whole lot of headaches in trying to get the ransom paid and then get away with it.”