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Ransomware Attack Kidnaps a City in Austria – Shady Business?

Ransomware Attack Kidnaps a City in Austria

A Malware team called NetWalker has launched a ransomware attack against Weiz, a village in Austria. The attack managed to affect the public service system and leak a part of the stolen data from Weiz’s building applications as well as inspections.
The hackers managed to penetrate into the village’s public network by using phishing emails related to the COVID-19 crisis.

COVID-19 used as bait to deploy the ransomware

The way that the NetWalker group was able to infect the servers was by sending emails with fake information about the coronavirus, which Weiz employees clicked and therefore triggered the ransomware.
Panda Security, a company dealing with this case, claims that the ransomware used in this attack is one of the newer versions of ransomware which spreads using VBScripts. If the infection succeeds, it spreads throughout the entire network to which the infected machine is connected.

Weiz isn’t just a random village


While Weiz is a small village, it is considered the economic center of the region. It is the place where several big companies, such as the automaker Magna, as well as construction companies Strobl Construction and Lieb-Bau-Weiz, are established. This may indicate that the attack wasn’t completely random but instead directed towards this village in order to complete a specific objective.