Cybersecurity Breach in the US: Multiple Government Agencies Affected

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Is the US Prepared for a Cyberattack? – An Expert’s Response

“Several” US Federal Government Agencies Affected in Global Cyberattack

(CNN) — In a recent global cyberattack that took advantage of a vulnerability in widely used software, multiple US federal government agencies were impacted. Eric Goldstein, the Executive Deputy Director of Cybersecurity from the US Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), stated that they are actively providing support to these affected agencies. He also mentioned that urgent measures are being taken to comprehend the extent of the damage and to prioritize its repair.

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The responsible cybercriminals behind these attacks on federal agencies have yet to be identified, but it is suspected that they may be part of a Russian-speaking ransomware group responsible for various other attacks in recent times. When asked about the attackers and the scale of the cyberattack, a spokesperson from CISA declined to comment.

These incidents contribute to the rising number of victims falling prey to an ongoing cybersecurity campaign that has targeted prominent US universities and state governments. The succession of these attacks adds pressure on federal authorities, who have been determined to curb the growing menace of ransomware attacks affecting schools, hospitals, and local governments across the nation.

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Johns Hopkins University and its renowned healthcare system in Baltimore recently revealed that sensitive personal and financial data, including healthcare billing records, may have been compromised. Likewise, Georgia’s state university system is investigating the scope and severity of the attack that put at risk several institutions within the state.

A notorious group of Russian-speaking hackers known as CLOP has claimed responsibility for some of these attacks. The group’s targets have included employees of the BBC, British Airways, Shell, as well as state governments in Minnesota and Illinois.

Although the Russian hackers were the first to exploit the vulnerability, experts believe that other groups may now have access to the necessary software code to conduct similar attacks.

Is the US Prepared for a Cyberattack? – An Expert’s Response

This incident highlights the wide-ranging impact that a single software failure can have when skillful criminals exploit it. The hackers, a well-known group whose preferred malware emerged in 2019, started exploiting a new flaw in widely used file transfer software called MOVEit. Their attacks seemed to target as many vulnerable organizations as possible, leaving a significant number of victims unsure of how to proceed.

Progress, the US-based company that owns MOVEit software, has advised all victims to update their software packages and issued necessary safety precautions to mitigate further risks.

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