FOREIGN exchange money site Travelex is being held to ransom by hackers after a cyber attack on New Year’s Eve.
The currency provider has been forced to turn off all of its computer systems, reports the BBC.
The company took down all of its websites across 30 countries following the attack to contain the “virus and protect data”.
Customers have been complaining that they’ve been unable to access the firm’s services for at least four days now and insist that some have been left out of pocket.
But hackers are now demanding payment from the company in exchange for restoring its IT systems and keeping customer data protected.
Reports suggest that hackers have set a deadline for payment.
The Metropolitan Police is leading the investigation on the attack, which was reported on January 2.
In a statement, the force said: “On Thursday, 2 January, the Met’s Cyber Crime Team were contacted with regards to a reported ransomware attack involving a foreign currency exchange.
“Enquiries into the circumstances are ongoing.”
Ransomware is a malicious software that will encrypt files on a computer making them impossible to access without the key.
Criminals then force the victims to pay a demand in order to decrypt their files.
Hackers launched a similar attack called WannaCry on the NHS in 2017.
In a statement issued by Travelex on Twitter, the firm said: “We have deployed teams of IT specialists and external cyber security experts who have been working continuously since New Year’s Eve to isolate the virus and restore affected systems.
“We apologise to all our customers for any inconvenience caused as a result.”
The firm hasn’t let customers know about the cyber attack by email yet, but it is replying to customers on Twitter to confirm the hack.
It’s not just Travelex customers that have been affected by the lack of service.
The currency exchange provides services, such as processing transactions, to several major banks including Sainsbury’s Bank, Asda, Barclays, HSBC and First Direct.
The hack has left some banks struggling to fulfil customer orders.
More to follow…
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