Targus business operations disrupted following cyber attack

Targus, the well-known laptop bag and case manufacturer, has been hit by a cyber attack that has interrupted its normal business operations.

In an SEC filing, Targus described discovering last Friday that hackers had gained unauthorised access to its IT systems.

As a consequence, there has been a “temporary interruption” to the business’s operations as part of what Targus describes its “proactive containment measures” to prevent the hackers from causing more problems.

In short, in order to lock the bad guys out of its network, Targus has been forced to disable large parts of its infrastructure.

The company says that it is continuing to investigate the incident and has sought assistance from external experts. It also says that it does not believe that the incident will materially impact the company’s financial results.

However, what Targus hasn’t told us is anything about the nature of the attack. The one question everyone probably has right now is – so, was this a ransomware attack?

Targus hasn’t confirmed in its SEC advisory whether malware was involved in the attack, let alone ransomware. We just don’t know if it’s ransomware or not.

But if it is ransomware, chances are that the attackers have not just encrypted systems, but have also exfiltrated large amounts of data from Targus’s network and are threatening to release it to the wider world if the company doesn’t give in to the extortionists’ demands.

Without SEC regulations that came into effect late last year, we might not have known so quickly about the problems Targus was experiencing.

Since December 15, 2023, US companies have been required to disclose potential material cybersecurity incidents to the SEC within four business days, even if the full extent of an attack’s impact remains unknown.

No doubt we will see more companies following in Targus’s footsteps to comply with SEC regulations shortly after the discovery of a cybersecurity incident. We may also see more ransomware gangs actually threaten their victims with SEC disclosure, if they believe it will speed up ransomware negotiations.

At the time of writing, no hacking groups have publicly claimed responsibility for the attack against Targus.

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