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Latitude Sent Ransom Demand, Says It Won’t Pay

Latitude Financial has received a ransom demand, following the cyberattack that saw the theft of sensitive information regarding 14 million Australians.

The hack saw close to eight million driver’s licence numbers, 6.1 million customer records, and more than 53,000 passport numbers stolen.

Latitude has partnership with Australia’s biggest retailers, including Harvey Norman, David Jones, Apple, and JB Hi-Fi.

Latitude has not shared the details of the demands but has declared it will not pay.

“We will not reward criminal behaviour, nor do we believe that paying a ransom will result in the return or destruction of the information that was stolen,” it said.

“Latitude strongly believes that paying a ransom will be detrimental to our customers and cause harm to the broader community by encouraging further criminal attacks.”

Latitude believes the demands are real, based on the hackers detailing stolen data “consistent with the number of affected customers disclosed by Latitude.”

The Australian Federal Police are currently investigating the threat.

Latitude CEO Bob Belan apologised for the breach on Thursday.

“I apologise personally and sincerely for the distress that this cyber-attack has caused and I hope that in time we are able to earn back the confidence of our customers,” Belan said.

“Our priority remains on contacting every customer whose personal information was compromised and to support them through this process.

“In parallel, our teams have been focused on safely restoring our IT systems, bringing staffing levels back to full capacity, enhancing security protections and returning to normal operations.”

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