London-based jewelry specialist Graff Diamonds Corp. was hit by a ransomware attack in September 2021 and forced to pay a Russian ransomware gang a multi-million-dollar ransom in Bitcoin to prevent further leaking of a client list, which included world leaders, tycoons, and actors.
Bloomberg cites a lawsuit filed in London by Graff against insurer The Travelers Companies for not covering the payout.
The lawsuit details how Graff paid Conti gang a whopping $7.5 million ransom in Bitcoin to stop a further leak of the jeweler's high-profile clients.
At the time of the ransomware attack, Conti published the names of some clients, including Donald Trump, Oprah Winfrey, Larry Ellison, Elizabeth Taylor, and the Sultan of Brunei. The group said:
"Our goal is to publish as much of Graff's information as possible regarding the financial declarations made by the US-UK-EU neo-liberal plutocracy, which engages in obnoxiously expensive purchases when their nations are crumbling under economic duress."
Conti initially demanded Graff pay $15 million in Bitcoin on Nov. 3 to prevent another dump of a client list. Graff responded with a $7.5 million counter offer, and by Nov. 4, 118 Bitcoins worth $7.5 million were transferred to the group's wallet.
A Graff spokesperson said the gang "threatened targeted publication of our customers private purchases" ... and " We were determined to take all possible steps to protect their interests and so negotiated a payment which successfully neutralized that threat."
The spokesperson continued by saying Graff is "extremely frustrated and disappointed" with Travelers' attempt to avoid paying the losses over the extortion, adding, "They have left us with no option but to bring these recovery proceedings at the High Court."