Global Accounting Firm Deloitte Reports Cyberattack

by Leon Thompson September 28, 2017, 0:20
Global Accounting Firm Deloitte Reports Cyberattack

Deloitte, itself a provider of cybersecurity services, has confirmed a hack breached its email system, possibly exposing confidential client information.

According to a Guardian Exclusive, Deloitte, one of the world's "big four" accountancy firms and one of the largest private companies in the U.S. with a reported £27.3bn revenue a year ago, was the victim of a hack that went unnoticed for up to six months. It reported global revenue of almost $39 billion in its latest fiscal year, and risk advisory was one of its fastest growing business segments. Therefore, it's ironic that the company's own systems have been breached. Deloitte works with many of the world's largest corporations as well as numerous government agencies in the U.S. Plus, the attack may eventually turn out to be wider in scope than initially thought.

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The breach is said to have been US-focused.

The Guardian said that Deloitte had contacted six clients. Nearly 150 million accounts were compromised as a result of the massive hack, and sensitive information ranging from banking data to passports was accessed. With echoes of the Equifax data breach and CCleaner hack, the cyberattack went undetected for months and results in confidential emails being accessed, as well as company plans, and the private information of high-profile, blue-chip clients.

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"It also highlights the importance of ongoing monitoring and threat detection so that any malicious activity can be detected and responded to in a timely manner", he said. The company claims only a small fraction of the five million emails are at risk. The breach may also have offered hackers access to usernames, passwords, IP addresses, business diagrams and other sensitive information.

The accounting firm stated they have reviewed the hack after going through a "comprehensive security protocol", and had also contacted the authorities and the clients affected immediately. "We will continue to evaluate this matter and take additional steps as required", said the firm, which in 2012 was ranked the best cybersecurity consultant in the world. The attacker used a single administrator account with one password, which did not have two-factor authentication.

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Much remains unknown about the full scope of the attack. The US company said an investigation had revealed that a file containing United Kingdom consumer information "may potentially have been accessed". As is so often the case, you can have the most fool-proof security operations around, but if some fool doesn't use two-factor authentication, you're a sitting duck.

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