Unveiling the MOVEit Breach: Ensuring Personal Data Safety Amidst Cybersecurity Crises
Back in May, the company MOVEit, a file transfer platform made by Progress Software, was compromised by a Russian ransomware operation called Cl0p. They used a vulnerability in Progress’s software that was unknown to exist at the time. Shortly after the attack was noticed, a patch was issued. However, some users continued to be attacked because they didn’t install it.
The software is used by thousands of governments and financial institutions and hundreds of other public and private companies from around the world, and it’s been estimated that at least 455 organizations and over 23 MILLION individuals who were customers of MOVEit have had their information stolen.
Some of the organizations compromised include:
The US Department of Energy
New York City Department of Education
Ernst & Young
Pacific Premier Bank
TransAmerica Life Insurance
Bristol Myers Squibb
The majority of those organizations (73%) are based in the US, while the rest are international, with the most heavily impacted sectors being finance, professional services and educational institutions.
Cl0p is a type of ransomware that has been used in cyber-attacks since 2019. Data stolen is published to a site on the dark web – a section of the worldwide web where cybercriminals sell and trade information without having to reveal themselves. The ransomware and website have been linked to FIN11, a financially motivated cybercrime operation that has been connected to both Russia and Ukraine and is believed to be part of a larger umbrella operation known as TA505.
What makes this attack so terrible is that many of the organizations compromised provide services to many other companies and government entities, which means it’s very likely their customers, patients, taxpayers and students were compromised by association. And yes, you’re probably one of them.
The big question is, were you notified?
For some reason, this breach didn’t make mainstream headlines, but when a company is compromised, they are obligated to tell you if your data was stolen. This can come in the form of an e-mail or snail mail letter. However, due to spam filters, e-mail delivery is clearly not a reliable way to ensure an important message is received, and organizing a letter for over 36 million people can take time.
If you use the software, you need to ensure that all your passwords and PINs are changed ASAP and you must be on the lookout for any strange activity. Don’t use the same passwords and make sure they are at least 12 characters long, using uppercase and lowercase letters, as well as special characters and numbers.
You should also ensure that MFA, or multifactor authentication, is turned on for all critical software applications and websites you use, such as Microsoft Office, QuickBooks, banking and payroll software, your credit card processor, etc.
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