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Pitney Bowes fends off cyber attack as supply chain becomes new target for criminals

Shipping technology company Pitney Bowes has announced it came under cyber attack recently, as criminals eye supply chain companies as a source of valuable data.

The company said it was targeted through a ransomware attack on 4 May but had managed to detect the incident and prevent the attack from succeeding.

Ransomware encrypts files on an organisation or individual’s database, meaning that they cannot be accessed by users without the encryption key. The attackers then demand a fee to decrypt the files. The Maze ransomware, which was used against Pitney Bowes, not only encrypts the files but also threatens to publish them.

Pitney Bowes said its endpoint security software had identified the attack and prevented it from carrying out the encryption. Its security solution had also prevented the database being accessed without appropriate credentials.

The operations of the company had not been affected.

“We are investigating the scope of the attack, specifically the type of data that had been accessed, which appears to be limited,” said a Pitney Bowes spokesperson.

“Working with our third-party security consultants, we immediately took critical steps to thwart the attack before data could be encrypted.  At this point, there is no evidence of further unauthorised access to our IT systems.  The investigation remains ongoing.”

Australian logistics company Toll Group confirmed this week that it had had its data encrypted in a ransomware attack, meaning that some of its data might be published on the internet.

Security company Sophos published a report on ransomware on 12 May, surveying 5000 IT decision-makers in 26 countries across the world.

It found that 51% of organisations had experienced a ransomware attack in the last 12 months. The average cost of addressing a successful attack was $730,000. The average cost rose to $1.4 million when organisations paid the ransom.

Sophos said that 56% of IT managers had been able to recover data from back-ups without paying the ransom.

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