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Acer Taiwan falls victim to cyber attack

Hackers obtained employee data three days after they breached Acer India servers

Acer Taiwan has fallen victim to a cyber attack just three days after the same hacking group managed to breach the servers of Acer India.

On Saturday, Desorden hackers announced that they had managed to obtain login details belonging to employees of Acer’s Taiwanese branch.

In an email to Privacy Affairs researchers, the hacking group stated that it had breached the tech giant’s systems in order to prove that “Acer is way behind in its cyber security effects [sic] on protecting its data”, describing the company as “a global network of vulnerable servers”.

Acer’s Malaysian and Indonesian branches could potentially also fall victim to an attack, with Desorden stating that their servers “are vulnerable too”.

The hackers attached a table displaying employee logins and passwords to some of Acer’s Taiwanese servers. The details were shared on a hacking forum.

Desorden told Privacy Affairs that “it did not steal all the data” that was stored on the server and “only took data pertaining to [Acer] employee details”.

“Right after the breach, we informed Acer management on [sic] the Taiwan server breach and Acer has since taken the affected server offline,” the hackers said.

An Acer spokersperson confirmed that no customer data has been obtained this time.

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"We have recently detected an isolated attack on our local after-sales service system in India and a further attack in Taiwan," they said in a statement to IT Pro

"Upon detection, we immediately initiated our security protocols and conducted a full scan of our systems. We are notifying all potentially affected customers in India, while the attacked Taiwan system does not involve customer data. The incident has been reported to local law enforcement and relevant authorities, and has no material impact to our operations and business continuity."

The news comes just days after Desordern managed to breach the servers of Acer India and obtain approximately 60GB of sensitive data belonging to several million of the company’s customers. A spokesperson confirmed that the company had “detected an isolated attack” on its “local after-sales service system in India”. 

In March this year, Acer fell victim to a $50 million ransomware attack carried out by the notorious ransomware gang REvil. The group announced the Acer breach on its website where it presented images of allegedly stolen files, including financial spreadsheets, bank communications, and bank balances. The breach was believed to be linked to the Microsoft Exchange cyber attack, which was carried out by at least ten hacker groups.

According to Justin Vaughan-Brown, VP Product Marketing & Strategic Comms at cyber security firm Deep Instinct, the REvil attack "was particularly significant as it was a record-breaking ransom demand". 

“The continuous attacks on Acer unfortunately show just how far cyber criminals will go to exploit and profit from vulnerabilities," he told IT Pro, before adding: "Double extortion is becoming increasingly prevalent and what we do know is that the REvil attack on Acer probably opened the door to other ransom and hacker groups."

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