Thousands of companies vulnerable in supply chain cyberattack
Thousands of companies using the same voice- and video-calling application are now at risk, as North Korean hackers carry out an ongoing supply chain attack, several cybersecurity companies warned earlier this week.
Driving the news: CrowdStrike warned Wednesday that North Korea-linked hackers are actively attaching malware to the Windows and MacOS versions of 3CX's video conferencing tool.
- 3CX claims it has more than 12 million daily users and 600,000 enterprise customers, including Ikea, Toyota, BMW, Coca-Cola and McDonald's.
- Researchers at other firms, including SentinelOne, Check Point Research and Huntress, each confirmed the ongoing attack.
- The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency said Thursday it's "aware" of the incident and encouraged organizations to hunt for indicators of compromise on their networks.
Why it matters: The malware started infecting users' devices as early as February, according to SentinelOne, and it's still unclear how many of 3CX's customers have been affected.
- The last time the U.S. faced a supply chain attack of this magnitude was in 2020 when Russia-linked hackers compromised SolarWinds, affecting at least nine federal agencies and roughly 100 companies.
The big picture: A successful supply chain attack would mark a huge escalation in North Korea's hacking prowess. Typically researchers see them either carrying out espionage via email phishing campaigns or hacking crypto firms to fund the regime.
- CrowdStrike believes the attack was carried out by "Labyrinth Chollima," which conducts espionage against the U.S. and South Korea for the North Korea regime's intelligence agency.
Between the lines: Supply-chain attacks are some of the hardest cyberattacks to prevent given businesses' limited visibility into their vendors' cybersecurity practices.
Be smart: 3CX CEO Nick Galea said in a blog post Thursday that customers should uninstall the app from their devices and avoid using the app "unless absolutely necessary."
- "In a day or two from now, we will have another Electron App rebuilt from the ground up with a new signed certificate," Galea wrote. "This is expected to be completely secure."
What's next: It's going to take weeks until the public has a better understanding of how long the attack has been going on, who was impacted and what access North Korea was able to get.
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