MediaMarkt target of cyberattack

The MediaMarkt has been hit by a cyberattack, possibly with ransomware. Branches in the Netherlands. Belgium and Luxembourg are shut down as a result. Customers can go to the stores to buy consumer electronics, pick up and return is currently impossible due to the cyber attack.

That writes RTL Nieuws, which had access to internal e-mails that the retailer sent to its employees.

‘Everything is encrypted’

A MediaMarkt spokesperson confirmed that the company discovered this morning that it had been hit by a cyber attack. According to sources, it is a ransomware attack. Unauthorized persons are able to penetrate the company network and place all kinds of important data under lock and key. The only way to regain access to this data is to pay a ransom. The victim is then given a decryptor or decryption key, with which he regains access to all information.

The company’s spokesperson does not want to confirm at this time that it is a ransomware attack. “We are currently investigating everything,” he tells RTL Nieuws. Employees say anonymously that ‘everything is encrypted’.

The internal email states that computers in the affected branches can no longer be used. Employees have been instructed to unplug the internet cables from the cash registers and not to reboot the systems. Consumers can go to the stores to buy new items. These can simply be picked up and sold by the cash registers. Picking up orders or returning products is currently not possible due to the attack.

MediaMarkt stops taking fingerprints of employees

It is not the first time that the MediaMarkt has recently managed to make headlines. Last week Onur Erdem, board member of FNV Handel, sounded the bell. He considered it ‘a far-reaching invasion of privacy that the MediaMarkt asks for the fingerprint of employees. “Leaving your fingerprint to work in an electronics store. It shouldn’t get any crazier, right? We are talking about the MediaMarkt here, not a nuclear power plant or the headquarters of the secret service,” he said.

The board member was also disturbed by the fact that the MediaMarkt is not open and honest about what exactly it does with the fingerprints, or with whom the retailer shares this biometric data. In his view, shielding certain business units from unauthorized employees could be a lot easier, without being ‘unnecessarily high-tech’ and collecting special personal data from employees.

A MediaMarkt spokesperson said that a process is currently underway to phase out finger scans. “The policy of collecting fingerprints from specific employees was solely aimed at mitigating critical security risks,” the company said in a statement.

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