Report: Russia-Linked Hackers Claim Attack on McDonald’s; US Issues Alert

The Russian-linked hacker gang known as Snatch claimed Friday that it had stolen 500 gigabytes of information from McDonald’s Corp. and was holding it for ransom, the Daily Mail reported.

The gang reportedly posted its activities and ransom demands on the ”dark web,” claiming it had breached the Chicago-based company, taking 500 gigabytes of information, according to the report. It did not disclose the amount of the ransom.

McDonald’s, which, according to the fast-food company, operates more than 39,000 locations in over 100 countries, did not respond to the Mail’s request for comment on the story.

According to a 2019 report from the cybersecurity and information company Sophos, the gang posts in Russian and has targeted international companies several times in the past, demanding thousands of dollars in cryptocurrency as ransom for hijacked data.

”What we refer to as Snatch malware comprises a collection of tooling, which include a ransomware component and a separate data stealer, both apparently built by the criminals who operate the malware,” the report said.

The news of a possible hack into McDonald’s comes the same day as the U.S. Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency issued a ”Shields Up” alert about the possibility of Russian computer hacks in the wake of the invasion of Ukraine.

”While there are no specific or credible cyber threats to the U.S. homeland at this time, we are mindful of the potential for Russia’s destabilizing actions to impact organizations both within and beyond the region, particularly in the wake of sanctions imposed by the United States and our allies,” the alert said.

”Every organization — large and small — must be prepared to respond to disruptive cyber activity.”

The alert includes several recommendations for companies to help secure their systems.

”CISA recommends all organizations — regardless of size — adopt a heightened posture when it comes to cybersecurity and protecting their most critical assets,” the alert said.

On Thursday, President Joe Biden announced that sanctions have been imposed by the United States and its allies against Russia due to its invasion of Ukraine. He also addressed the threat of cyber attacks on American companies and infrastructure.

”Let me also repeat the warning I made last week: If Russia pursues cyberattacks against our companies, our critical infrastructure, we are prepared to respond,” Biden said in his address Thursday. ”For months, we have been working closely with our private — with the private sector to harden their cyber defenses, sharpen our ability to respond to Russian cyberattacks as well.”

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