Olympus suffers second cyberattack in 2021

The company said it detected the attack on Sunday after dealing with a ransomware incident last month.
Written by Jonathan Greig, Contributor

On Tuesday, Japanese tech manufacturer Olympus said that it was investigating a cyberattack on its IT systems in the US, Canada, and Latin America. 

The company said the cybersecurity incident was detected on Sunday, but despite the help of forensics experts, they are still working to resolve the issue. 

"As part of the investigation and containment, we have suspended affected systems and have informed the relevant external partners. The current results of our investigation indicate the incident was contained to the Americas with no known impact to other regions," the company statement said. 

"We are working with appropriate third parties on this situation and will continue to take all necessary measures to serve our customers and business partners in a secure way."

The latest incident follows another cyberattack that the company reported on September 11. The statement from that incident is almost identical to the one released today, but Bleeping Computer reported that the earlier attack involved ransomware.

The ransomware incident, believed to have been perpetrated by the BlackMatter ransomware group, hit its EMEA IT systems. TechCrunch managed to obtain a letter on infected computers from BlackMatter indicating they were behind the attack. 

By September 14, Olympus released another statement describing the incident as "an attempted malware attack" and saying no data was accessed during the incident. 

Olympus has more than 31,000 employees across the world. The company did not respond to requests for comment about who may be behind the latest attack.

BlackMatter has been one of the most prolific ransomware groups working after emerging this summer from the ashes of the DarkSide ransomware group. 

Just last month, they shut down an Iowa-based farm service provider and demanded nearly $6 million to restore the damaged systems. 

Neil Jones, cybersecurity evangelist at Egnyte, said the second cyberattack on a technology giant like Olympus should be a major wake-up call in just a month's time: no large global corporation should consider itself exempt from ransomware attacks. 

"Senior executives and IT leaders should also be aware that no technological solution is 100% effective, but a large percentage of ransomware attacks can be prevented with diligent preparation," Jones said. 

"Unfortunately, even in technologically sophisticated organizations like Olympus, the methods and tools being employed don't meet the security and control needs to combat today's threats."

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