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Tuesday, 12 May 2020 09:18

Huge Belgian accounting firm HLB hit by Maze ransomware

Huge Belgian accounting firm HLB hit by Maze ransomware Image by Steve Buissinne from Pixabay

Close on the heels of an unsuccessful attack on global technology supplier Pitney Bowes, the people behind the Maze ransomware, which infects Windows systems, have hit the Belgian firm HLB, which has a global network of independent advisory and accounting businesses in 130 countries.

Numerous documents from the company have been leaked online. These include business contracts, accounts statements, confidential memos, and other general documents.

HLB, which gets its names from its founders, has 21,000 staff and 60 offices worldwide.

The company had about US$3 billion in revenue in 2019. The group's global site appears to be down, indicating that it may have been the avenue for the Maze attack.

The group's US headquarters are in Texas. The Maze group indicated that the files from HLB had been locked on 7 May.

Maze has been stepping up attacks on bigger clients in recent weeks, with global insurance provider Chubb and IT services giant Cognizant among its victims.

But whether these attacks are paying off is doubtful; it is only when victims refuse to pay up that the people behind Maze post data from these victims online.

If an attack ends in the victim paying, the name of the victim is not published.

iTWire has contacted HLB for comment.

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Sam Varghese

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Sam Varghese has been writing for iTWire since 2006, a year after the site came into existence. For nearly a decade thereafter, he wrote mostly about free and open source software, based on his own use of this genre of software. Since May 2016, he has been writing across many areas of technology. He has been a journalist for nearly 40 years in India (Indian Express and Deccan Herald), the UAE (Khaleej Times) and Australia (Daily Commercial News (now defunct) and The Age). His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.

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