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The Finance Sector’s Biggest Cyber-Attacks in 2024

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Finance and accounting businesses have always been prime targets for cybercriminals, due to perceived financial gain and the ease with which they can cause devastating harm. In 2024, this has not changed – already there have been several significant attacks on the finance sector that highlight vulnerabilities present within this field. However, there is a silver lining – from each of these attacks, a lesson can be learned that may protect your company from the same damage.

International Monetary Fund (IMF) Data Breach

IMF discovered a cyber incident on February 16th, that they claim impacted 11 company email accounts. They maintain that no other data was found to be compromised by this attack – but the identity of the criminals responsible, as well as their goal, remain unknown. The compromised email addresses were ultimately secured.

Lessons Learned:

This attack’s focus on staff members demonstrates the need for companies to develop a security-first culture. Refreshing employee awareness on basic security measures such as multi-factor authentication can help prevent the risk of these attacks.

Radiant Capital Hack

On January 3, 2024, Radiant Capital, a decentralized finance platform, lost $4.5 million worth of Ethereum (ETH) cryptocurrency to a hack. The attack was made possible due to vulnerabilities in the way their smart contract code was written. These weaknesses allowed the cybercriminals to make millions of dollars worth of fraudulent transactions before anything suspicious was noticed.

Lessons Learned:

This incident can teach us about the importance of regular, comprehensive security audits. A security audit likely would have discovered the smart contract vulnerabilities far earlier, which could have allowed Radiant Capital to address them before cybercriminals had the opportunity to exploit them.

EquiLend Ransomware Attack

On 24th January 2024, lending platform EquiLend notified customers that operations had been disrupted for several days for unknown technical reasons. They later confirmed that this was the result of a cybersecurity incident. An investigation found that the personal data of their customers, as well as their own payroll information, had been compromised. 

They were not able to determine what, if anything, had been done with this information -in response, they offered free identity theft protection services to their clients as recompense for the breach.

Lessons Learned:

EquiLend’s case teaches us about good etiquette in the event of a breach. When they realised they could not identify the exact scope of the attack, they quickly developed a plan to protect their clients. This kind of response can help companies maintain trust in the event of a cyber-attack.

Willis Lease Financial Corporation (WLFC) Ransomware Attack

Willis Lease Finance Corporation, an organization dealing in aircraft loans, detected a potential cyber-attack on January 31, 2024. Unauthorized activity was found on company systems, and containment measures were implemented by February 2. 

The investigation is ongoing, and WLFC has not stated what information was breached. The Black Basta ransomware gang claimed responsibility, stating they had exfiltrated over 900 GB of data, including sensitive company, employee, and customer information. They have threatened to release this information publicly.

Lessons Learned:

This incident can teach us about the necessity of security measures that can help mitigate ransomware attacks – like storing data on the cloud, teaching employees not to click suspicious links, and minimizing the attack surface. The reality of a ransomware attack is that, once a cybercriminal has your data, it is very difficult to stop them from doing what they want with it.

LoanDepot Cyber-Attack

Home loan provider LoanDepot detected a cyber incident on January 8. An investigation found that an unauthorized third party had accessed the sensitive personal information of approximately 16.6 million individuals, including social security numbers. The attack took their payment portal out of commission for several weeks, leaving customers unable to pay off their loans.

LoanDepot provided credit monitoring and identity protection services to their clients, to help mitigate any damage caused.

Lessons Learned:

This attack highlights the need for a strong incident response plan. LoanDepot was clearly unprepared for this attack, leaving a critical payment portal offline for weeks. This likely could have been prevented with the implementation of a better response plan – which may have significantly reduced the downtime experienced.

Get Expert Support to Protect Your Business

These already-observed cyber-attacks in 2024 have demonstrated the need for finance and accounting businesses to utilize the strongest cybersecurity measures possible. They also provide us with some valuable lessons on how to protect data, clients, and staff. By learning from others, you can lower your chances of falling victim to cyber-attacks. 

Shartega IT provides customized cybersecurity solutions to prevent and respond to cyber threats, keeping you and your clients safe. Our managed services provide an additional safety net, to help detect threats before they can cause harm. Browse our cybersecurity services and discover how you can protect your business.

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