People familiar with the matter told Sky News that smartwatch maker Garmin paid millions of dollars in ransom to criminals who encrypted Garmin’s computer files through a ransomware negotiating firm called Arete IR,media reported. Earlier this week, Sky News reported that Garmin had obtained a decryption key to recover his files from the Wasted Locker virus.
Security agencies believe the virus was developed by people linked to Evil Corp. Evil Corp, a Russian-based cyber-crime group, was sanctioned by the U.S. Treasury in December.
Garmin initially tried to pay the ransom through another company that specializes in dealing with such incidents, according to people familiar with the matter who spoke on condition of anonymity.
However, the company responded that it would not negotiate a ransom in the Case of Wasted Locker because of the risk of sanctions violations.
After initial accusations, Garmin then sought The Service of Arete IR, which claims that the link between the Wasted Locker ransomware and the individuals sanctioned has not been confirmed, the sources said.
Garmin said his system was hit by a virus on Thursday, July 23. On Friday, July 24, Arete published a study on its website that cited uncertain evidence and refuted the study that blamed Verd Locker on Evil Corp.