Stamford, Connecticut-based shipping tech business Pitney Bowes confirmed a ransomware attack on its systems last Monday, October 14, 2019. Affected services from the site include its shipping and mailing offers to the public.
According to CNN, ransomware is a form of malware attack launched to encrypt files and information found on a computer. Once the malware infects the computer system, it prevents users and administrators from gaining access to these files. In order to allow access to these data, attackers will ask for ransom in exchange for the decryption key.
The shipping giant provides data, mailing, eCommerce, and shipping services. It currently offers services to more than 1.5 million clients worldwide, notes Tech Crunch. Its list of clients includes the Fortune 500 companies and its services used in platforms such as Etsy and Shopify.
Pitney Bowes issued a statement on its website on the same day, with the latest updates made on October 18, 2019. Its initial statement said it “was affected by a malware attack that encrypted information on some systems.”
The company claims that no customer or employee data had been compromised by the malware attack. However, Tech Crunch reports that internal systems of the business initially shut down last October 14, 2019. As a result, customers failed to use their systems.
A number of users voiced their concerns over the social media platform Twitter. Andrea Dembo, Mike Devereux, and Ricky Chaney said their “postage meter is being held, hostage.”
By October 17 and 18, 2019, third-party consultants already secured the system. Most services are now fully operational after the incident, with particular focus on the ‘Your Account’ and ‘Supplies Store’ services. Apart from issuing a fix to the incident, the company also informed its customers, employees, and partners about the issue.
Pitney Bowes states their technical team is still working to restore all affected databases. The Connecticut-based business has also hired third-party consultants to provide a solution.
The malware attack launched on Pitney Bowes comes months after other industry giants have suffered from similar schemes. Tech Crunch reports that Arizona Beverages, Norsk Hydro, and Eurofins have all been affected by ransomware in the past few months.
Following the incident, the business credit rating agency Moody marked the incident as ‘credit negative.’ This means the agency is monitoring the events closely.
However, Moody believes that the attack will have no bearing on Pitney Bowes, reports CNBC. The shipping giant reportedly maintains insurance and good liquidity for cybersecurity attacks.