Swiss newspaper hackers threaten data release 'unless ransom paid'

NZZ group is the latest target of rising cybercrime in Switzerland. © Keystone / Christian Beutler

Hackers have reportedly demanded a ransom from the Swiss newspaper group Neue Zürcher Zeitung (NZZ) to stop the release sensitive staff data on the Dark Web.

This content was published on April 24, 2023

Swiss public broadcaster SRF and the Keystone-SDA news agency have both reported the demands from the hacker group that calls itself ‘Play’.

The NZZ has confirmed that the hackers say they have data obtained from the IT security breach last month. But the media group makes no comment about the reported ransom demand.

Other media have reported that Play states it is in possession of data relating to employees, wages and projects that journalists are working on.

Play is apparently threatening to release the data on an anonymous and untraceable section of the internet known as the Dark Web.

The IT systems of NZZ and CH Media were attacked last month by cyber criminals. The attack has also compromised the ability of some newspapers to publish full editions.

NZZ says it is working with police and the authorities to resolve the situation.

Cyber-attackers have hacked several Swiss private and public targets in the last few years, with ransomware attacks on the rise.

These include defence contractor RUAG, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and Swiss municipalities.

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