Majorca city Calvià extorted for $11M in ransomware attack


The Calvià City Council in Majorca announced it was targeted by a ransomware attack on Saturday, which impacted municipal services.

Calvià is a historic town on the Spanish island of Majorca with a population of 50,000 and is one of Majorca’s major tourism hotspots, estimated to receive 1.6 million visits annually.

During the weekend, a cyberattack hit Calvia’s systems, forcing the council to form a crisis committee to evaluate the damage done and formulate impact mitigation plans.

“The Calvià City Council is working to restore normality as soon as possible, after having been the target, in the early hours of last Saturday, of a ransomware cyberattack, through which they intend to extort the council,” says the announcement from Calvià.

Mayor Juan Antonio Amengual stated that a team of IT specialists is currently performing forensic analysis to estimate the extent of unauthorized access and recover the impacted systems and services.

The IT outages have caused the City to suspend any administrative deadline for submitting allegations, requests, etc, until January 31, 2024.

Citizens who urgently need to submit any document for registration can still do it through the General State Administration portal.

In the meantime, the municipality has informed the police’s cybercrime department about the incident and filed the necessary complaints along with preliminary forensic analysis information.

The announcement concludes with a statement of regret for the inconvenience, reminding people that citizen services can still be reached via the phone.

“The City Council deeply regrets the inconvenience this situation may cause and reiterates its firm commitment to resolve the current situation in the most orderly, quick, and efficient manner possible,” reads the statement. (machine translated)

“In any case, telephone and face-to-face communication is maintained normally.”

By the time of writing this, none of the major ransomware groups had assumed responsibility for the attack at Calvià, so the perpetrators remain unknown.

However, a local media outlet has learned that the ransom set by the cybercriminals is €10,000,000, approximately $11M.

The mayor told the local press that the municipality would not be paying the ransom under any circumstances.

Ransomware poses a significant risk to entities of all sizes, including small towns, highlighting a growing concern in today’s digital landscape.

Such attacks can put vital municipal services out of order, leading to major disruptions in daily operations and public services. The repercussions would be even more severe if such an attack occurred during peak tourism season.

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