Graff Diamonds paid £6.3m in Bitcoin to hackers after they leaked data on its mega-rich clients


Graff Diamonds paid £6.3million in Bitcoin to Russian hackers after they leaked data on jewellery firm’s mega-rich clients including David Beckham, Oprah and Donald Trump

  • Cyber criminals leaked 69,000 confidential documents in massive ‘virtual heist’
  • Documents including client lists, invoices, receipts and credit notes were taken 
  • They then demanded millions in Bitcoin to stop the release of further information
  • Graff subsequently paid hackers more than £6m in ransom money via Bitcoin
  • Since payment in November, price of Bitcoin has slumped to around just £1.9m
  • Jeweler’s insurers Travelers  is refusing to pay the losses, Graff has alleged

Graff Diamonds £6.3million to Russian hackers after leaked the personal details of the world leaders, Hollywood A-listers and billionaire tycoons on its client list.

The cyber criminals leaked 69,000 confidential documents in a massive ‘virtual heist’ on to the so-called ‘dark web’, including data relating to Donald Trump, Oprah Winfrey and David Beckham.

They are thought to have demanded tens of millions of pounds in ransom money to stop the release of further sensitive information in September last year.

Documents including client lists, invoices, receipts and credit notes have been taken, and could prove embarrassing for customers who may, for example, have bought gifts for secret lovers or taken jewellery as bribes. 

Graff, which also includes Middle East royalty among its clients, paid the hackers more than £6m in ransom money alone via Bitcoin.

The hackers, Conti, had initially demanded double that figure be paid to a Bitcoin wallet in November.

Since then, though, the price of Bitcoin has slumped, meaning Graff paid the ransom when Bitcoin was at one of its highest ever rates.

The 188 Bitcoin paid is now worth around just £1.9m.

Graff’s insurers, Travelers Companies Inc, is refusing to pay the losses, the jeweler has alleged.

Russian hackers have plundered the personal details of world leaders, actors and personalities in a 'virtual heist'

Russian hackers have plundered the personal details of world leaders, actors and personalities in a ‘virtual heist’

Former US President Donald Trump (pictured) was among the high-profile victims of the data leak last year

Former US President Donald Trump (pictured) was among the high-profile victims of the data leak last year

Oprah Winfrey (pictured) also featured on the the leak, which included invoices, receipts and credit notes

Oprah Winfrey (pictured) also featured on the the leak, which included invoices, receipts and credit notes

A spokesperson for Graff told Bloomberg: ‘The criminals threatened targeted publication of our customers private purchases. 

‘We were determined to take all possible steps to protect their interests and so negotiated a payment which successfully neutralized that threat.’

‘We are extremely frustrated and disappointed by Travelers’ attempt to avoid settlement of this insured risk. 

‘They have left us with no option but to bring these recovery proceedings at the High Court.’

Graff is understood to be taking the insurers to the High Court in London to recover the losses.

At the time of the data leak, Conti claimed the information published, involving about 11,000 of Graff’s well-heeled clients, represented just one per cent of the files it stole.

Around 600 British customers were among the victims so far named, including Formula One heiress Tamara Ecclestone and former footballer Frank Lampard, who was previously pictured leaving Graff’s flagship London store with his wife Christine Bleakley.

International superstars on the list included Hollywood actors Tom Hanks (pictured with wife Rita Wilson)

International superstars on the list included Hollywood actors Tom Hanks (pictured with wife Rita Wilson)

Former Topshop boss Sir Philip Green (pictured) and his wife Lady Tina were also among the list

Former Topshop boss Sir Philip Green (pictured) and his wife Lady Tina were also among the list

International superstars on the list include Hollywood actors Tom Hanks, Samuel L Jackson and Alec Baldwin, already troubled after accidentally shooting dead cinematographer Halyna Hutchins on the set of his latest film.

Former Topshop boss Sir Philip Green and his wife Lady Tina are listed as clients of Graff, which has a store in Monaco, where the family’s £100 million superyacht Lionheart is moored. The New York address of Britain’s wealthiest man Sir Len Blavatnik, also appears, as does that of financier George Soros.

Singer Tony Bennett also featured in the leak, while two addresses for US chat show queen Oprah Winfrey and seven for Donald and Melania Trump were published.

Conti, which is believed to be based near St Petersburg, released the first cache of customer information earlier this month on the dark web, a secretive part of the internet known as a haven for terrorists and criminals – who could potentially use the material for theft, extortion or blackmail.

London-based Graff, which was founded by 83-year-old Laurence Graff, a self-styled ‘King of Bling’, said it had informed those whose personal data may have been accessed.

Travelers has been contacted for comment.

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