Olympus becomes victim of cyberattack following BlackMatter ransomware hit

Olympus ransomware
(Image credit: Digital Camera World)

Olympus has become the latest high profile company to fall victim to a cyberattack, following an incident at the beginning of September. The attack, which affected areas of its EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa) IT systems, has now been confirmed it was caused by ransomware from the group BlackMatter. 

As it stands today, Olympus specializes in manufacturing optical and digital reprography technology for the medical and life sciences industry. Its imaging division, responsible for cameras such as the Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark IV and Olympus PEN E-P7, was sold off to OM Digital Solutions at the start of the year.

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The cyber security incident started on 08 September and upon detection of the suspicious activity, Olympus took all relevant measures to resolve the issue. In a statement by Olympus, it was reported that a specialized response team was called in, including forensic experts, while all data transfers in the suspected systems were suspended and all external partners were informed.

According to Tech Crunch, a ransom note was left on infected computers saying, “Your network is encrypted and not currently operations. If you pay, we will provide you the programs for decryption.” Olympus was led to believe it was BlackMatter that was responsible, as the ransom note included a link to a web address only accessible through Tor Browser – a search engine that’s known to be used by the group to speak to its victims.

The incident has been reported to government authorities and Olympus has assured all customers that its “daily business operations are working as normal, ensuring the uninterrupted supply of our serviced for patients.”

Last year, Canon was also hit by a ransomware attack, during which time there was unauthorized access to files on its servers. After a careful review, Canon was able to determine that the files accessed content information about current and former employees, their beneficiaries and dependents from 2005 to 2020. The information included individuals’ names, social security numbers, driver’s license numbers, financial account records and dates of birth. 

The Olympus investigation into the cyberattack is still ongoing but, according to results so far, there is no evidence of loss, unauthorized use or disclosure of data detected. Furthermore, there have been no signs that the attack affected anywhere outside of the EMEA regions. 

Olympus has apologized for any inconvenience that the cyberattack may have caused and has assured customers and partners that protecting their details and maintaining their trust is a top priory. It will continue to take measures to enhance its IT security and will provide any new information as it becomes available. 

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Hannah Rooke
Staff Writer

Having studied Journalism and Public Relations at the University of the West of England Hannah developed a love for photography through a module on photojournalism. She specializes in Portrait, Fashion and lifestyle photography but has more recently branched out in the world of stylized product photography. For the last 3 years Hannah has worked at Wex Photo Video as a Senior Sales Assistant using her experience and knowledge of cameras to help people buy the equipment that is right for them. With 5 years experience working with studio lighting, Hannah has run many successful workshops teaching people how to use different lighting setups.