Top cybersecurity consultant Deloitte hit by cyber-attack

To date, it is understood that six of Deloitte's clients from across the pond have been contacted by the accountancy firm informing them that their confidential details have been 'impacted'.

The company, which is registered in London and has its headquarters in NY, reported US$37 billion revenue previous year.

The attack went unnoticed for months, sources said, and has impacted some of the largest organizations in the world, including multinational banks and media companies, Big Pharma and government entities.

And that's where a breach of this kind takes a turn, compared to previous attacks. So far, at least six Deloitte clients have been advised that their information was affected by the security breach. The sources claimed the hackers accessed the entirety of the firm's internal email database, and all administrative accounts.

Equifax announced this month that there was an incident in which hackers were able to gain access to personal information for about 143 million Americans, along with a large number of Canadian and British individuals.

The report also said clients from all those sectors had their emails exposed.

"In response to a cyber incident, Deloitte implemented its comprehensive security protocol and began an intensive and thorough review including mobilizing a team of cybersecurity and confidentiality experts inside and outside of Deloitte", a spokesman tells the Guardian. It wasn't a small amount of emails like reported.

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The initial report of the Deloitte breach came from the Guardian, which revealed hackers had compromised the "confidential emails and plans of some of its blue-chip clients".

The auditing and consulting firm said in a statement Monday that it's now informing the clients affected and has notified governmental authorities after it became aware of the incident.

Deloitte provides accounting, auditing and consulting services, including advice on mergers and acquisitions. For those that don't know Deloitte, it's one of the "big four" accountancy firms in the world.

Deloitte has not yet confirmed with which governmental departments and law enforcement agencies they will cooperate on this matter, they only confirmed that this attack has caused absolutely no disruptions to the clients involved.

In a survey of more than 1,000 IT professionals conducted by Keeper Security, 54% of respondents said negligent employees were the root cause of a data breach. In fact, in 2012, Deloitte was ranked the top cyber security consultant in the world.

The staff account that is thought to be responsible only had one password, and refrained from using two-factor authentication.

  • Desiree Holland