Security Market Segment LS
Friday, 04 September 2020 10:44

Security firm Cygilant hit by Windows NetWalker ransomware

Security firm Cygilant hit by Windows NetWalker ransomware Pixabay

US security software-as-a-service provider Cygilant has been a victim of a ransomware attack, with cyber criminals having used the NetWalker strain to target the firm's Windows systems.

Cygilant, formerly known as EIQ Networks, concentrates on information security and compliance, according to Wikipedia.

It was initially offering analysis of log files across network devices but then moved into security information and event management.

Contacted for comment, chief financial officer Christina Lattuca said: "We're aware of a ransomware attack impacting a portion of Cygilant's technology environment. Our Cyber Defence and Response Centre team took immediate and decisive action to stop the progression of the attack.

"We are working closely with third-party forensic investigators and law enforcement to understand the full nature and impact of the attack. Cygilant is committed to the ongoing security of our network and to continuously strengthening all aspects of our security program."

Brett Callow, a ransomware researcher at security firm Emsisoft, said data theft was now a component in more than 1 in 10 ransomware incidents.

"Or, put another way, more than 1 in 10 ransomware incidents are data breaches that are a risk not only to the target company, but also its customers and business partners," said Callow whose employer is based in New Zealand.

"It seems that exfiltration is an effective strategy with a number of companies having paid purely to prevent data being published or misused. And, of course, because it's effective, it's likely to become even more commonplace."

This year, NetWalker has been involved in six incidents that were deemed worthy of being reported.

These included attacks on Australian workforce design and delivery firm Tandem Corp, and Jands, an Australian company that distributes some leading audio, lighting and staging brands for installation, production and retail industries throughout Australia and New Zealand.

Another attack of note was on Forsee Power, a company that designs and manufactures smart lithium-ion battery systems for electro-mobility markets, with a fourth being on Trinity Metro, a regional transportation authority of the state of Texas.

Prior to that the University of California in San Francisco admitted it paid US$1.14 million to a gang that used NetWalker to attack its systems. A sixth case was that of Australian customer experience firm Stellar, that also operates across Asia, North America and Africa.

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Sam Varghese

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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