Ransomware attack has led Travelex to bankruptcy

During the early days of 2020, currency exchange company Travelex became victim of a ransomware incident that shutdown its activities for weeks. According to cyber security solutions specialists, although the firm has done its best to restore its operations, its future hangs in the balance, as Finablr, Travelex’s parent company, could be set to declare bankruptcy.

Although cybercriminals demanded a ransom for $6 million USD, the foreign exchange firm had to invest over $25 million USD after its cyber security solutions team detected an infection of the dangerous Sodinokibi ransomware variant, these costs were generated due to the disruption of their services worldwide, investigation and incident recovery process. In addition, an accounting scandal in Finablr left the company’s investors in a compromised situation.

Finablr, a foreign exchange and payment services firm, is employed by more than 25 million consumers and has 1,500 business partners in more than 150 countries; the company has decided to suspend its operations from March 16 due to uncertainty about its ability to stay in business, which has also affected other companies in the same business group, including Travelex, which continues to deal with the security incident.

While the firm has already restored all of its customer service related services, its cyber security solutions team reports that other systems continue to operate partially; for example, Travelex will not be able to submit its 2019 financial statement until mid-April, according to estimates.

Both situations have represented a severe blow to Travelex, which for now operates in almost complete normality if not for the intervention of a third factor: the coronavirus/COVID-19 outbreak. Globally, companies from all industrial industries have been severely affected by the pandemic consequences. Because Travelex works closely with the tourism industry, it is estimated that its level of profit over the past few months will drop considerably.

According to the International Institute of Cyber Security (IICS), ransomware attacks remain one of the most common computer crimes because, along with phishing campaigns, encryption malware represents considerable gains for hackers at a minimum price.