- The Washington Times - Tuesday, July 7, 2020

An increase in cyberattacks on outsourced information technology services has raised red flags within the federal government’s cybersecurity community.

The Secret Service alerted government officials and some in the private sector to its discovery of an increase in targeted hacks of managed service providers, according to a memo obtained by ZDNet. Managed service providers oversee companies’ information technology infrastructure and often rely on subscriptions for business, meaning they have several clients.

The Secret Service’s memo issued last month warned of cyberattackers leveraging point-of-sale intrusions and ransomware hacks to infiltrate victims’ IT systems.

One ransomware gang with a reputation of targeting managed service providers to reach their customers is REvil, which looks to be responsible for a new ransomware attack against Texas’ Cooke County Sherriff’s Office last weekend.

Brett Callow, Emsisoft threat analyst, said REvil’s apparent attack against the Texas police department is a reminder that organizations should conduct security awareness trainings, use multifactor authentication everywhere possible, and assume the perimeters of your cyber infrastructure will be breached.

“Ransomware groups scan the internet looking for vulnerable internet-facing servers and, when they locate one, exploit it to gain a foothold in the network,” Mr. Callow said in an email. “If you put a vulnerable system online as a honeypot, it will be hit within a very short period of time.”

The Cooke County Sheriff’s Office did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

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