Global technology consultancy Accenture hit by ransomware attack

16 August 2021 Consulting.us 2 min. read
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Global consulting firm Accenture, which offers cybersecurity services, has been hit by a cyber-attack. ‘LockBit’, a group of ransomware hackers that has recently carried out a series of attacks, has taken credit for the incident.

On Wednesday the 11th August, global consultancy and technology giant Accenture was struck by a cyber-attack, during which more than 6 terabytes of data were stolen. ‘LockBit’, a ransomware gang who has claimed the attack, demanded $50 million in ransom, threatening to publish the data unless it received the money.

Stacey Jones, a spokesperson from Accenture, confirmed the incident without specifically acknowledging it as a ransomware attack, CNN reported.

Global technology consultancy Accenture hit by ransomware attack

“Through our security controls and protocols, we identified irregular activity in one of our environments. We immediately contained the matter and isolated the affected servers. We fully restored our affected servers from back up. There was no impact on Accenture’s operations, or on our clients’ systems,” Jones said.

According to a tweet from a CNBC reporter, LockBit eventually did leak more than 2,000 of the stolen files on the dark web for a brief period, but an internal Accenture memo cited by CyberScoop suggested that the files only concerned “a small number of clients”, and that none of the files were “of a highly sensitive nature.” 

Accenture, which posted $44 billion in revenue in 2020, is the latest in a series of ransomware attacks across the world, including IT management software firm Kaseya and Colonial Pipeline. The consulting firm, which, according to Reuters currently counts Alibaba, Cisco and Google among its clients, has recently been increasing its investments in cybersecurity and intelligence.

Previously, back in 2017, Accenture had left four cloud-based storage servers unsecured, which cyber security specialists found could have been used to attack Accenture and its clients. The company itself denied that the publicly available client data was ever at risk. 

Ransomware attacks have been on the rise since 2020, with LockBit one of the many different types of ransomware. The attack prevents affected companies from accessing their systems until they have paid the ransom, according to cybersecurity company Emisisoft.

Alongside conducting its own attacks, the LockBit gang leases its software to third-party criminal affiliates who receive a share of ransoms in exchange for implanting the code in selected networks. LockBit first emerged in 2019 but has already hacked thousands of companies around the world, according to CNN.