Ransomware has been a recurring problem throughout 2021, and the latest attack could be particularly severe for some workers. NBC News Reports indicate that workforce management heavyweight Kronos has suffered a ransomware attack that could affect its ability to handle working hours and payroll at well-known companies such as GameStop, Honda and Whole Foods. With several pre-Christmas salaries due to arrive this week, there is concern that some employees may not get paid in time when they need it most.
Kronos reported the December 11 attack, but it wasn’t until December 13 that the company warned that it could take “several weeks” to fully restore functionality. The company did not identify the perpetrators. It also couldn’t completely rule out any connection to the recent Log4j vulnerability, but it had a “quick patch” and supply chain check to make sure its systems weren’t vulnerable.
It’s not clear when business hours and payroll jobs might return. Meanwhile, companies have had to scramble to find alternatives. Whole foods said NBC It did find a way to pay employees this week, but Honda only said it was “taking steps” to mitigate any problems. An unidentified Whole Foods employee said his colleagues were asked to rely on perforated sheets of paper and handwritten tables.
The Kronos incident illustrates the massive scale of ransomware victims in recent months, including the meat supplier and major oil pipeline operator. It also underscores the fragility of modern technology in the workplace. While a payroll company may not be considered as critical infrastructure as food or fuel providers, a cyberattack against it can still cause significant economic damage.
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