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IT services giant Cognizant hit by Maze ransomware attack


April 20, 2020

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IT services giant Cognizant hit by Maze ransomware attack

One of the world’s leading professional service companies, Cognizant, has confirmed that its systems have been hit by a ransomware attack.

In a statement released on its website the multinational reported that some of its clients were experiencing “service disruptions” after a security incident saw the Maze ransomware affect its internal network.

“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.” “Our internal security teams, supplemented by leading cyber defense firms, are actively taking steps to contain this incident.”

The first news that ransomware had hit Cognizant was reported on the Bleeping Computer website, which said that Cognizant began emailing clients on Friday with a “preliminary list of indicators of compromise identified through our investigation”. According to Cognizant, this information could be used to help clients monitor their own systems and secure them from attack.

The Maze ransomware gang is notorious for its audacious attacks targeted organisations. The group’s attacks see corporate victims not only infected with file-encrypting ransomware, but also threatened with the publication of stolen data if extortion demands are not met.

Cognizant, which employs over 250,000 people and has over 270 offices worldwide, boasts of having 177 of the Global Fortune 500 amongst its clients.

In other words, a ransomware attack doesn’t just impact Cognizant. It also potentially impacts many of Cognizant’s customers, many of which are well known names. And if they experience difficulties because their IT services supplier has been hit by ransomware, you and your company may be inconvenienced too.

And if the attackers are telling the truth about stealing sensitive information from Cognizant’s network, there is always the possibility that it might be data about you and your company that is published online by the Maze gang if a ransom is not paid.

Recent victims of Maze ransomware attacks include law firms,
medical research firm HMR, and lock company with an ironic sideline in cybersecurity insurance Chubb.

One cannot help but wonder if there might be more successful ransomware attacks in the weeks going forward, as more and more employees work from home and through either recklessness or ignorance put their companies at risk.




Graham Cluley is an award-winning security blogger, researcher and public speaker. He has been working in the computer security industry since the early 1990s.

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