High-society jewellers Graff hit by huge Russian ‘virtual data heist’

Image of Portuguese fugitives. Credit: [email protected]

High-society jewellers Graff hit by a huge Russian ‘virtual data heist’

Exclusive London-based jewellery firm Graff, has reportedly been the victim of a huge ‘virtual heist’, after being attacked by cyber-criminals. Their system contains the personal client details of many of the world’s richest leaders, billionaire business tycoons, and Hollywood A-listers, according to The Mail On Sunday.

Files containing personal information on the likes of Donald and Melania Trump, David Beckham, Sir Philip Green, and Oprah Winfrey, are said to be among 69,000 documents that were leaked onto the so-called ‘dark web’ earlier this month.

It is known that Conti, the notorious Russian hacking gang is behind the heist, and it is believed they are demanding a ransom amounting to tens of millions. The gang has reportedly claimed that the information revealed online to date, on around 11,000 Graff clients, is just one per cent of what they stole. If the ransom is not paid then they will release much more sensitive data.

Philip Ingram, a former colonel in British military intelligence, said, “Given the profile of the customer database, this is absolutely massive. This is going to bring the highest levels of international law enforcement down on the gang, and that’s going to give them a whole lot of headaches in trying to get the ransom paid, and then get away with it”.

It is thought that stolen documents include not only client lists, but credit notes and receipts. These could bring major embarrassment to anybody who might have purchased items for a secret lover, for example, or even taken a bribe of jewellery.

There are known to be 600 names of British clients among the data released, along with celebrities like Samuel L Jackson, Tom Hanks, and Tony Bennett.

Graff claims to have notified all of their clients about the breach, but one well-known millionaire contacted by The Mail On Sunday said he had not been informed, even though his named features in the list as having purchased some expensive jewellery worth £237,000 from them last January.

The list is a ‘Who’s Who?’ of some of the world’s richest people. It includes Britain’s wealthiest man Sir Len Blavatnik, financier George Soros, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the ruler of Dubai, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, and many more.

According to its latest accounts, Graff had revenue of £450 million in 2019, with a spokesperson telling the publication, “Regrettably we, in common with a number of other businesses, have recently been the target of a sophisticated – though limited – cyber-attack by professional and determined criminals”.

They continued, “We were alerted to their intrusive activity by our security systems, allowing us to react swiftly and shut down our network. We notified, and have been working with, the relevant law enforcement agencies, and the ICO. We have informed those individuals whose personal data was affected and have advised them on the appropriate steps to take”.

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Written by

Chris King

Originally from Wales, Chris spent years on the Costa del Sol before moving to the Algarve where he is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at [email protected]

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