Hackers post stolen data from prominent trucking company following cyber-attack

"It has certainly elevated our vigilance," said the trucking company president.

Stolen data from one of Canada’s largest trucking companies was posted online by a group of hackers last week. 

Manitoulin Transport became aware of the ransomware attack on July 31st after employees reported system access issues, but the stolen information was not leaked online until Friday, September 11th.

Typically, hackers use ransomware attacks to breach companies’ systems, steal their data, and prevent the company from accessing in. The hackers will then demand payment in exchange for restoring the company’s access. If the company refuses to pay, the hackers will then leak the stolen data online. 

Manitoulin Transport decided not to pay the hackers, which is how their data ended up posted online. 

“We didn’t believe they had enough information that was concerning to us,” said Manitoulin Transport President Jeff King, adding that no customer data or information appears to have been compromised in the attack.

“Our IT group jumped all over it very quickly,” King continued. “No mission-critical systems were compromised. But it has certainly elevated our vigilance.” King also noted that the company has since taken additional measures to tighten internal cybersecurity and has been working with an outside security firm to investigate and respond to the attack.  

Luckily, the company was able to proceed with normal operations within two days of the attack, but cyber attacks against trucking companies are increasing in Canada overall. Since August, hackers have attacked and leaked data from companies across Canada, including TFI International’s Canpar Express, Axxess International, Beler Holdings, Fuel Transport and Indian River Express.

“I suspect there’s a connection,” Brett Callow, threat analyst at Emsisoft, told FreightWaves. “It could be that data has been stolen from the same source [and used to compromise other companies.] He also adds that Conti, the hacker group that targeted Manitoulin Transport, was also responsible for the attacks on Axxess International and Beler Holdings. 

The RCMP has declined to comment on any specific incidents, but has said that “The RCMP is aware of ransomware incidents across a number of sectors. We are working closely with our policing partners, along with our partners in the government of Canada and in the international law enforcement community to address cybercrime.”

Manitoulin Transport is the 14th largest trucking company in Canada and has 745 trucks.