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Johnson Controls Cyberattack: $51 Million Ransom Demanded

Executive Summary

Johnson Controls, a multinational conglomerate, has experienced a massive cyber attack initiated by the Dark Angels ransomware group. The attackers have demanded a $51 million ransom and threatened to publish stolen data if the payment is not made. The company’s IT infrastructure was disrupted, leading to sections being shut down. The breach potentially exposes sensitive data, including contracts with the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).

Johnson Controls has implemented incident response plans and is working on remediation measures to mitigate the impact of the attack.

The DHS is also assessing impacts and implementing additional safeguards.

What Happened

Johnson Controls, a multinational conglomerate specialising in automotive parts and building systems, recently fell victim to a sophisticated cyberattack.

The notorious hacking group known as the Dark Angels targeted the company, deploying ransomware to infiltrate Johnson Controls’ IT infrastructure. As a result, a significant amount of data was encrypted, rendering various parts of the company’s operations temporarily paralysed.

According to the perpetrators, they have not only gained unauthorised access to sensitive information but also managed to exfiltrate 27 terabytes of data. In a brazen move, the attackers have demanded $51 million as a ransom for the safe return of the compromised data.

Impact

The cyber attack on Johnson Controls has resulted in disruptions to the company’s business operations.

The potential exposure of sensitive data, including contracts with the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), poses a significant risk to the national security of the United States. The compromised data may include DHS floor plans and other sensitive information, which could potentially jeopardise the physical security of DHS facilities.

This breach raises concerns about the safety and integrity of critical infrastructure and highlights the importance of robust cybersecurity measures to protect against such attacks in the future.

Response

In response to this alarming incident, Johnson Controls promptly acknowledged the cyberattack in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

Johnson Controls has implemented incident response plans and is working on remediation measures to mitigate the impact of the attack.

The company has engaged external cybersecurity experts, is coordinating with insurers, and is assessing the extent of the breach.

It is uncertain whether Johnson Controls will be willing to pay the ransom or not.

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has also been actively working on the issue. A spokesperson provided the following statement to CNN on Friday:

We are assessing the potential impacts of this incident and implementing additional safeguards to our layered security model. This was not a breach of any DHS network or system.

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