Tuesday 7 January 2020 1:17 pm

Travelex held to ransom by hackers

Hackers are holding foreign exchange giant Travelex to ransom, after a cyber attack forced the company to switch off all its computer systems.

It has been reported that hackers infiltrated the company’s systems on New Year’s Eve and that it has taken down 30 of its websites to contain “the virus and protect data”.

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Hackers are now demanding a ransom to withdraw from Travelex’s computer systems, with a deadline having been set by those responsible, according to the BBC.

The Metropolitan Police said they were investigating the matter in a statement today.

It read: “On Thursday, 2 January, the Met’s Cyber Crime Team were contacted with regards to a reported ransomware attack involving a foreign currency exchange. Enquiries into the circumstances are ongoing.”

Websites across Europe, Asia and the US have been offline with this message.

The attack has meant that Travelex staff have resorted to using pen and paper, while a recovery operation is being conducted at an undisclosed UK location.

The foreign exchange company had not previously disclosed the information, despite the cyber attack happening a week ago.

Websites across Europe, Asia and the US have been offline ever since.

The cyber attack has meant that other firms who use Travelex’s services are not able to provide currency exchange services.

This includes Sainsbury’s Bank and Virgin Money.

Security researcher Kevin Beaumont told the BBC that the response from Travelex had been “shockingly bad”.

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“The Travelex UK website still only says ‘planned maintenance’, a week after the problems began – many customers will be completely unaware hackers gained access to their network, and allegedly their personal data,” he said.

Travelex was founded in London in 1976 and now has cash exchange points across the world.