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Disruptions at Pan-American Life Likely Caused by Ransomware Attack

Pan-American Life Insurance Group (PALIG) targeted in cyberattack

Recent service disruptions at the Pan-American Life Insurance Group (PALIG) were likely caused by a cyberattack conducted by a threat actor known for using the REvil ransomware.

New Orleans-based PALIG provides life, accident and health insurance services across the Americas. The group has more than 20 member companies and employs roughly 2,000 people worldwide.

The official website of PALIG (palig.com) currently only displays some contact information and the following message: “Pan-American Life Insurance Group is currently experiencing a disruption to some of our services and we are working to restore them. To facilitate communication during this time, we have created temporary email accounts as an official communication channel.”

Cybersecurity researcher Anis Haboubi noticed over the weekend that a Tor-based website operated by a cybercrime group that uses the ransomware known as REvil (Sodinokibi) claimed to have stolen 170 GB of files as a result of breaching the company.

REVIL ransomware site

The REvil ransomware is designed to encrypt files on infected systems and instruct the victim to pay a ransom to recover them. The cybercriminals in many cases also steal data from victims to increase their chances of getting paid — victims are told that their files will be made public if they don’t pay up. They are known to demand tens of millions of dollars from some of their victims.

Haboubi told SecurityWeek that in the case of the Pan-American Life Insurance Group, the compromised files appeared to include financial reports covering all PALIG regions, as well as health-related data.

At the time of writing, PALIG is no longer listed on the REvil leak website, which Haboubi believes could be a sign that the company is in the process of negotiating with the cybercriminals.

SecurityWeek has reached out to PALIG for more information on the incident and will update this article if the company responds.

UPDATE: PALIG has provided the following statement:

We recently took our systems offline after we detected suspicious activity. This has caused a disruption to our regular services and systems. We are taking the matter very seriously and investigating the activity quickly and thoroughly with the help of internal and external experts. We take the security of the data we maintain with the utmost degree of seriousness and our investigation is ongoing. We will take appropriate steps once we have sufficient and meaningful information to enable those steps. Despite the systems disruption, we have continued to service our customers and are focusing on bringing our systems back online responsibly.


UPDATE 2: PALIG has issued a press release confirming the breach and that some information was compromised. 

Related: Sodinokibi Ransomware Operators Target POS Software

Related: Hackers Leak Data Stolen From UK Electricity Market Administrator Elexon

Related: REvil Ransomware Operator Bids for KPot Stealer Source Code

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Eduard Kovacs (@EduardKovacs) is a contributing editor at SecurityWeek. He worked as a high school IT teacher for two years before starting a career in journalism as Softpedia’s security news reporter. Eduard holds a bachelor’s degree in industrial informatics and a master’s degree in computer techniques applied in electrical engineering.