Posted On 07 Jan 2021
According to multiple media outlets, hackers working for an overseas state have been able to infiltrate the email of workers at the U.S. Treasury and the National Telecommunications and Information Administration, the body that sets Internet/telecommunications policy in the US. Apparently, a meeting of the National Security Council was recently held in the White House to discuss the problem. It is feared that the hackers may have gained access to other government agencies as well.
A Commerce Department spokesperson admitted that systems in one bureau had been hacked and that the FBI and CISA were investigating, but refused to give any further detail. It has been suggested that the NTIA uses Microsoft Office 365 and that this was the program the hackers managed to break into, enabling them to monitor the email of staff at the agency for a considerable period. At the time of writing, neither the Treasury, the FBI, or Microsoft had any comment to make about the alleged breach.
Randstad, the leading global recruitment agency, has fallen victim to ransomware, announcing in a statement that malicious activity had been detected on the company network. It is believed that this refers to the Egregor ransomware; while the company states that operationally no compromise of its systems has occurred, it has admitted that the hackers managed to obtain confidential data, chiefly concerned with company business in France, Italy, Poland, and the US, and has posted some of this data online.
Randstad is a company employing over 38,000 workers in 38 nations and claims to have found jobs for more than 2 million clients in 2019. The company has stated that it is doing its utmost to deal with the incident, but it has not stated whether it is prepared to meet any ransom demands from the hackers in order to contain the data leaks.
The Egregor ransomware appears to have taken over from the infamous Maze ransomware that was retired recently, with known victims including videogame giant Ubisoft, the Metro Vancouver transit system, and giant South American retailer Cencosud.