Isentia Reeling After Suspected Ransomware Attack

Media monitoring giant Isentia has revealed that it is currently dealing with a major security incident disrupting some online services.

The Sydney-headquartered firm, which has operations in eight markets, revealed the news in a regulatory filing with the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) yesterday.

Although ransomware wasn’t mentioned by name, reports suggest it is the cause of the incident, which Isentia admitted is disrupting services in its SaaS Mediaportal platform.

“Isentia is taking urgent steps to contain the incident and conduct a full investigation into what happened and how to avoid a repeat occurrence in the future,” said CEO, Ed Harrison in a statement to the ASX. “Our priority is to restore full service as soon as possible but until that occurs, we have put processes in place to support our customers.”

Many of those customers are in federal government, as well as the wider private sector.

Steve Forbes, government cybersecurity expert at Nominet, argued that the attack therefore highlights the “interconnected world of national cyber-defense.

“While a media monitoring firm wouldn’t typically be considered part of critical infrastructure, its work with many government departments and large organizations has now been put on hold due to the cyber-attack,” he added.

“This incident also reminds us of the importance of vetting third parties in terms of their cyber-resilience. While the full details of this particular security breach are yet to emerge, best practice advice is to ensure third parties have at least similar practices and procedures as your own to keep sensitive data safe.”

Isentia has notified the Australian Cyber Security Center (ACSC) about the incident and said it is currently working with “leading external cybersecurity specialists” to determine its extent and the impact on key systems.

That would seem to suggest that the firm was caught off-guard by the attack and that it is still struggling to contain the incident.

What’s Hot on Infosecurity Magazine?