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Cyber Ransom

Cyber Ransom

Cyber Ransom

Cyber-ransom has been rampant in the recent years as technology comt8nues to advance. One of the recent cases was on Brenntag Distribution Company. The hacker group managed to steal 150 GB of data from the company system and later demanded $ 7.5 million of bitcoin. The event took place in May 2021. The incident could have been prevented despite the hackers being quite good on what they did. One of the actions would be the company being so big and having a lot of data, it should have kept the system and the overall software up to date to ensure they prevent any malicious individuals from penetrating and stealing the data.

Brenntag paid the ransom that was demanded by DarkSide who carried out the attack. Reports indicated that the payment was done on May 11, 2021. The decision to pay was in the hand of the company that had its information stolen and it was for the safety of the customers and the other stakeholders in the company (11 Alive, 2021). The negotiation leading to the decision to pay was between Brenntag and DarkSide which is an organization that benefits from ransomware attacks.

The decision to pay was ethical because first the company had substantial amount of data stolen from the system that could possibly be used for some malicious activities. The company needs to assure the customers of some level of security and so if the data that they have can be easily accessed them it would compromise the relationship between the company and the customer. The weakness was on the side of the company and so it was only right if they paid the price of not putting up a system that would be considered completely immune from such threats that would make the data get into the wrong hand (Westbrook, 2021). It could be argued that the DarkSide’s action was not ethical but it was not their responsibility to keep the information safe for the company so generally it was only right to pay them the ransom and the company put up measures to protect the system.


Westbrook, A. (2021). A Safe Harbor for Ransomware Payments: Protecting Stakeholders, Hardening Targets, and Defending National Security. New York University Journal of Law and Business, Forthcoming.

11 Alive. (2021, May 19). Colonial Pipeline CEO opens up about why he felt they had to give $4.4m ransom payment to hackers. YouTube. Retrieved April 26, 2022, from


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After watching the Wall St. Journal video with the Colonial Pipeline CEO, and reading the Law360 Expert Analysis article on how to manage cyber risk, do the following:

Cyber Ransom

Cyber Ransom

  • Conduct Internet research and identify a company that was recently held for Cyber-ransom of any kind.
  • Identify the company, why it was held ransom & what could/should have prevented it.
  • Did the company pay a ransom?
  • Who was responsible for the decision to pay/not pay?
  • Was the decision to pay ethical? (To pay or not to pay)


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