IT giant Cognizant under Maze ransomware attack

IT giant Cognizant under Maze ransomware attack
Photo Credit: Reuters
20 Apr, 2020

Information technology (IT) services provider Cognizant has confirmed that it has become a victim of a Maze ransomware attack.

The Teaneck, New Jersey headquartered company said that its internal security teams, supplemented by cyber defence firms, are taking steps to contain this incident.

“Cognizant can confirm that a security incident involving our internal systems, and causing service disruptions for some of our clients, is the result of a Maze ransomware attack,” the company said in a statement.

The company, which employs around 300,000 workers, said it is working with the appropriate law enforcement authorities.

"We are in ongoing communication with our clients and have provided them with indicators of compromise (IOCs) and other technical information of a defensive nature," the statement added.

TechCircle’s request for further details didn't elicit a response at the time of publishing this report.

Hackers linked Maze, however, have denied the allegation by Cognizant, according to a security blog, BleepingComputer.

Maze ransomware hackers encrypt files in an infected system and then threaten to release the information on the internet if they aren’t paid.

In January, The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) had issued an advisory to corporates in the US about Maze ransomware attack, the online security news website Cyberscoop said.

The Maze ransomware started attacking companies back in November 2019. Back then, the hackers behind Maze had publicly threatened to release confidential and sensitive files from a US-based victim.

The latest incident comes at a time when enterprises are facing disruptions due to the coronavirus pandemic. The crisis has forced companies to adopt work from model to ensure business continuity, which has led to cybersecurity concerns.

The cloud-enabled security and data protection solutions provider Barracuda Networks recently found that email-related attacks have seen an increase of 667% since February end.

IBM X-Force Threat Intelligence Index 2020 has reported that misconfigured cloud servers and other improperly configured systems account for some 85% of reported breaches. The report found more than 8.5 billion breach records reported in 2019. Seven billion of these, or over 85%, were due to misconfigured systems.