Craftsman Collision reveals its network was infected by ransomware

    1 of 1 2 of 1

      A well-known North Vancouver–based auto-body repair chain has been victimized by computer hackers.

      In a letter to customers, Craftsman Collision stated there's a possibility that their personal data (name, address, phone number, or email) may have been compromised. But no payment information has been divulged.

      "Our network was infected by a ransomware in the morning of November 29, 2019, which is a malicious program that locks users out of their network by preventing them from accessing their data," company president Rick Hatswell wrote. "The intent of the malware is to encrypt the organizations data until a ransom is paid to unlock the system." 

      Craftsman Collision is conducting a forensic audit. It stated that no ransom was paid.

      "We want to assure you, that our network is highly secure and encrypted with industry leading technology to safeguard you," Hatswell added. "There is no action for you to take—we will contact our customers immediately if the forensic audit determines that your personal information was compromised."

      The company began more than 40 years ago as a single repair shop on Cambie Street. It's since grown to 40 outlets in B.C. and Alberta.

      Computer hacks of this nature aren't unusual according to SonicWall, which specializes in helping organizations, including small- and medium-size businesses, from being victimized by cybercriminals.

      In October, it stated that there were 7.2 billion malware attacks in the first nine months of 2019, including 151.9 million ransomware attacks. The number of ransomware events was down five percent over the same period in the previous year.

      “When we observe how ransomware spreads, we also identify that ransomware tactics have changed,” SonicWall president and CEO Bill Conner said in a news release. “Historically, the goal for most malware authors was quantity of infections and now we’re seeing attackers focus on fewer higher-value targets where they can spread laterally. This shift in tactics has also seen a corresponding rise in the ransom demands, as attackers attempt to make more money from fewer, but higher value, targets like local municipalities and hospitals.”