Existential Threat: KNP Logistics Insolvent Following Ransomware Attack


September 28, 2023

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KNP Logistics, the UK’s largest logistics provider, declared itself insolvent following a “major ransomware attack … <that> affected key systems, processes and financial information,” The Record reported.

“This adversely impacted on the financial position of the Group and ultimately, its ability to secure additional investment and funding,” and will result in 730 employees losing their jobs.

“Against a backdrop of challenging market conditions and without being able to secure urgent investment due to the attack, the business was unable to continue. We will support all affected staff through this difficult time,” a spokesperson said.

Takeaway: Ransomware attacks have reached an unprecedented level and are threatening the long-term viability of businesses and potentially putting lives at risk.

More than 2,300 organizations succumbed to ransomware attacks in just the first half of 2023, and ransomware attacks are up 74% in Q2 of 2023 over Q1 levels. The cost to victims from ransomware attacks is estimated to reach $265 billion (USD) annually by 2031.

Ransomware poses an existential threat to organizations of all sizes in any vertical. Ransomware attacks continue to be extremely lucrative, with ransom demands and recovery costs bleeding victim organizations for millions of dollars.  

Ransomware-as-a-Service (RaaS) and other operators are implementing novel evasion techniques into their payloads specifically designed to evade or completely circumvent traditional endpoint protection solutions.

In many cases, there has been documented overlap between nation-state attack elements and those of cybercriminal ransomware gangs. Today's ransomware attacks are more complex and difficult to defend against than ever before.  

Attackers are getting more efficient at exploiting vulnerabilities, and this trend is likely to continue as threat actors automate aspects of their attack sequences. We see evidence of this automation in the hundreds of organizations that have been hit by just one ransomware group exploiting one patchable vulnerability in early 2023.  

This mass exploitation wave is also evidence that ransomware gangs are increasingly leveraging automation to identify and target exposed organizations who have not patched against known vulnerabilities, which is why we are seeing so many new victims.  

The annual impact from ransomware attacks in the US alone is estimated to be more than $20 billion dollars. This figure does not include additional incident response costs, tangential costs, damage to the brand, lost revenue, lost production from downed systems, and other collateral damage.

And the above figures did not even include the ransom payment, the long-term damage to an organizations’ brand (loss of consumer trust), increased cyber insurance premiums, legal fees, or lost revenue which can far exceed remediation costs – and we have not even gotten to the potential impact from data exfiltration.

These days, ransomware operators do not brick your systems and ask for a ransom payment, they first steal sensitive data to use as leverage by threatening to leak it publicly. For many organizations this exposure of customer data has regulatory implications and can lead to lawsuits and fines.  

Additionally, sensitive data on corporate transactions, R&D, patents, etc. can end up in the attackers' hands and be sold to the highest bidder on dark web forums or end up in the hands of a competitor.

While larger organizations can absorb these costs, this potentially represents an existential threat to companies and their employees’ jobs - as was the most unfortunate case for KNP Logistics. If your organization is not prioritizing anti-ransomware defenses, you should really be asking why not.

Halcyon.ai is the industry’s first dedicated, adaptive security platform that combines multiple advanced proprietary prevention engines along with AI models focused specifically on stopping ransomware – talk to a Halcyon expert today to find out more. Halcyon also publishes a quarterly RaaS and extortion group reference guide, Power Rankings: Ransomware Malicious Quartile (PDF).