PARIS (AFP) - A subsidiary of French insurance giant Axa has been hit by a ransomware attack affecting operations in several Asian countries, the company said Sunday (May 16), confirming a Financial Times report.
"Asia Assistance was recently the victim of a targeted ransomware attack which impacted its IT operations in Thailand, Malaysia, Hong Kong, and the Philippines," Axa Partners said in a statement.
"Certain data processed by Inter Partners Asia (IPA) in Thailand has been accessed," it added, saying it would "notify and support all corporate clients and individuals impacted" but that there was no sign further data was touched.
Ransomware attacks, which use security flaws to encrypt systems and lock their owners out until a ransom is paid, have increased in recent months.
One such attack hit US firm Colonial Pipeline last weekend, forcing the shutdown of its network shipping gasoline, diesel and aviation fuel across much of the eastern half of the United States and sparking fuel shortages and long lines at gas stations.
Ireland's government said Sunday its Department of Health had also been hit by a ransomware attack similar to one that struck its health service earlier in the week, which forced the authority to shut down computer systems.