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Cyberattack fires Canon into action (Includes interview)

The news that Canon experienced a Maze ransomware attack is similar to earlier attacks that targeted the companies LG and Xerox, showing that companies active in the photographic and peripherals space are currently in the sights of hackers.

Different parts of the company’s operation were impacted: Canon’s email, Microsoft Teams, USA website, and other internal applications. Plus, there are reports that the perpetrators have sent messages to individual users of the Canon cloud service, asking for payment in order to free their personal image storage spaces. In fact, the first indications of an attack were on July 30th, 2020, when the service suddenly stopped working, and visitors were left with a message stating “Sorry, service not available.

Looking at the data breach for Digital Journal is Sanjay Jagad, Sr. Director of Products and Solutions at Cloudian, Inc. Jagad notes: “Canon, LG and Xerox were all recent victims of a Maze ransomware attack, and we’ll continue to see more and more organizations fall prey to such breaches.”

The analyst notes there is an inherent weakness in most cybersecurity protocols: “Encryption does not work against ransomware because the attacker can simply re-encrypt the data to prevent access to its rightful owner.” In addition, other anti-ransomware, like anti-phishing training, firewalls and password software are also not effective, Jagad explains. “The only way for organizations to really safeguard themselves is to protect data at the storage layer.”

Jagad does, nonetheless, have a solution: “They can so by leveraging WORM (Write Once Read Many) storage. With WORM, data is made immutable: once written, it cannot be changed or deleted for a specific period.”

In terms of what WORM does, the measure “prevents malware from being able to encrypt the data and lock the victim out. In the event of a ransomware attack, organizations can restore an uninfected copy of the data by a simple recovery process. In the past you needed specialized storage devices to leverage WORM.”

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Dr. Tim Sandle is Digital Journal's Editor-at-Large for science news. Tim specializes in science, technology, environmental, business, and health journalism. He is additionally a practising microbiologist; and an author. He is also interested in history, politics and current affairs.

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