In November 2023, real estate services company Fidelity National Financial (FNF) got its systems knocked offline for a week after a cyberincident.
As is often the case these days, it turns out that the cyberincident was very likely a ransomware attack that included a data breach. Ransomware operators typically steal data from the compromised systems to use as extra leverage against the victim.
The attack on FNF was claimed by ransomware group ALPHV/BlackCat on its leak site. ALPHV is typically in the top five most active ransomware gangs in our monthly ransomware reviews and is one of the most dangerous ransomware groups in the world.
The listing on ALPHV’s leak site has since been removed which might indicate that the ransom was paid. But it could also be another reason: In December 2023, the gang’s infrastructure was taken down by law enforcement. Unfortunately the gang did re-appear soon after.
In a form 8-K, FNF said it had notified applicable state attorneys general and regulators, and approximately 1.3 million potentially impacted consumers. Form 8-K is known as a “current report” and it is the report that companies must file with the SEC to announce major events that shareholders should know about.
The company has not so far specified the type of data that may have been stolen. FNF is providing credit monitoring and identity theft services to affected customers.
There are some actions you can take if you are, or suspect you may have been, the victim of a data breach.
- Check the vendor’s advice. Every breach is different, so check with the vendor to find out what’s happened, and follow any specific advice they offer.
- Change your password. You can make a stolen password useless to thieves by changing it. Choose a strong password that you don’t use for anything else. Better yet, let a password manager choose one for you.
- Enable two-factor authentication (2FA). If you can, use a FIDO2-compliant hardware key, laptop or phone as your second factor. Some forms of two-factor authentication (2FA) can be phished just as easily as a password. 2FA that relies on a FIDO2 device can’t be phished.
- Watch out for fake vendors. The thieves may contact you posing as the vendor. Check the vendor website to see if they are contacting victims, and verify any contacts using a different communication channel.
- Take your time. Phishing attacks often impersonate people or brands you know, and use themes that require urgent attention, such as missed deliveries, account suspensions, and security alerts.
- Set up identity monitoring. Identity monitoring alerts you if your personal information is found being traded illegally online, and helps you recover after.
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