Applus Technologies Inc was hit by a malware attack in March that caused a system outage for vehicle inspection systems in eight states. The company said it detected and stopped a malware attack and responded by locking own its entire system. The disruption continued for more than two weeks affecting government agencies, motorists, new and used vehicle dealers, and the testing facilities who perform the inspections.
In a statement on March 31, Darrin Greene, CEO of the U.S. entity of Applus Technologies, said "Unfortunately, incidents such as this are fairly common and no one is immune."
In a further update, Applus said it has not determined the scope of the attack or whether any sensitive data has been compromised. The company said the attack did not cause a nationwide outage and that disruption was limited to eight states, though it is unclear why those states were affected. The company said it contacted the FBI and worked with a team of independent forensic investigators on incident response and recovery.
Although the attack was confined to just 8 states in the US, the impact felt by affected customers was considerable. As a result of the attack, the Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles (RMV) had to extend deadlines for motor vehicle inspection stickers while law enforcement paused issuing citations during this period. In efforts to further mitigate the impacts of the outage, the RMV consulted with the Executive Office of Public Safety and Security, the Massachusetts Chiefs of Police Association and the Massachusetts State Police.
In situations like this, especially where critical systems are affected, it is essential fleet leaders are able to call upon cybersecurity expertise to navigate through the incident and initiate remediation steps. ShieldsUp helps you prepare for potential cyber attacks to your vehicles and offers expert support and resources when managing a cyber incident including ransomware, data loss, credential theft and reputation damage. “Planning and preparing for a cyber incident is a fundamental practice for vehicle fleet business leaders today,” says Benjamin Stein, ShieldsUp’s founder.
ShieldsUp can provide a Cyber Readiness assessment - this takes 15 minutes to complete and provides a benchmark for your organization to assess how prepared you currently are for an attack. And in the event of a cyber incident, ShieldsUp have a specialist on-call incident response concierge of auto cyber experts to steer businesses through the situation and ensure you return to business as usual. The service provides preferential rates and treatment with trusted cyber incident response and fleet vendors.
“Incidents such as this are fairly common and no one is immune, but companies can prepare and the first step is to understand where your organization may be vulnerable across your people, devices, data, fleet and freight,” says Stein.
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