Enhancing Cybersecurity in the Utility Sector: Lessons from the TEA S.P.A. Ransomware Attack

Incident Date:

May 5, 2024

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Enhancing Cybersecurity in the Utility Sector: Lessons from the TEA S.P.A. Ransomware Attack


Territorio Energia Ambiente Mantova S.P.A




Mantua, Italy

, Italy

First Reported

May 5, 2024

Ransomware Attack on Territorio Energia Ambiente S.P.A by Black Basta

Company Profile

Territorio Energia Ambiente S.P.A (TEA S.P.A.), a multi-utility company based in Mantua, Italy, is recognized for its comprehensive range of services including natural gas and electricity distribution, waste management, and environmental services. The company stands out in the energy, utilities, and waste sector through its commitment to sustainability and the development of the circular economy. Notably, TEA S.P.A. has embraced the production of biomethane from organic waste and is actively increasing its use of renewable energy sources.

Financially, TEA S.P.A. has shown robust growth with significant business volumes reported in recent years. The company's strategic initiatives are supported by financial aids such as loans from the European Investment Bank, aimed at bolstering its infrastructure and service capabilities.

Details of the Ransomware Attack

The attack on TEA S.P.A. was executed by the notorious ransomware group Black Basta, known for its sophisticated cyber operations. In this incident, Black Basta managed to exfiltrate approximately 1 terabyte of sensitive data, including personal documents of users and employees, as well as critical company data related to projects. Following the data breach, a portion of the stolen data was publicly leaked, showcasing the group's typical double extortion tactic.

Black Basta's Modus Operandi and Potential Entry Points

Black Basta employs a combination of advanced ransomware techniques and social engineering to infiltrate its targets. The group is known for using the XChaCha20 encryption algorithm, which enhances the complexity of their attacks. For TEA S.P.A., the potential vulnerabilities could have included insufficiently secured endpoints, lack of employee training on phishing attacks, or outdated system patches which Black Basta could exploit to gain unauthorized access.

Implications and Industry Impact

The breach at TEA S.P.A. not only jeopardizes the privacy of individuals and the integrity of the company's data but also highlights the critical need for enhanced cybersecurity measures within the utility sector. This sector's increasing reliance on digital technologies makes it a prime target for cybercriminals, underlining the importance of cybersecurity frameworks and continuous monitoring systems.


Following the ransomware attack on April 16th, the company swiftly mobilized internal and external specialists to mitigate the breach, ensuring uninterrupted service for employees, customers, and suppliers. Legal discussions commenced promptly with relevant authorities, including the Privacy Guarantor under GDPR Article 33, accompanied by public disclosure via local media. Preliminary investigations revealed no permanent loss of personal data, although a criminal group claims exfiltration. Ongoing forensic analysis is underway, with transparent updates assured. Users are encouraged to contact dedicated support channels for inquiries or visit the website for updates. The company remains steadfast in its commitment to safeguarding user data and ensuring transparency throughout this process.


Recent Ransomware Attacks

The Recent Ransomware Attacks (RRA) site acts as a watchtower, providing you with near real-time ransomware tracking of attacks, groups and their victims. Given threat actors’ overarching, lucrative success so far, ransomware attacks have become the most ubiquitous, and financially and informationally impactful cyber threat to businesses and organizations today.

The site’s data is generated based on hosting choices of real-world threat actors, and a handful of other trackers. While sanitization efforts have been taken, we cannot guarantee 100% accuracy of the data. Attack updates will be made as source data is reported by reputable sources. By viewing, accessing, or using RRA you acknowledge you are doing so at your own risk.