Sg: PDPC issues monetary penalty in the matter of the Vhive cyberattack

One of the many hacks this site reported on in 2021 was the attack on Vhive in Singapore by threat actors calling themselves ALTDOS. The attack resulted in what the threat actors claimed was hundreds of thousands of the furniture retailers’ customers having their personal information leaked when the firm refused to pay the attackers’ ransom demands.

On June 9, the Personal Data Protection Commissioner of Singapore issued a monetary penalty of $22,000 against Vhive for failing to put in place reasonable security arrangements to protect the personal data in its possession.

According to the monetary penalty’s explanation, Vhive notified the PDPC on March 26, 2021 and  readily admitted certain failures on its part.  Approximately 186,281 individuals’ names, addresses, email addresses, telephone numbers, hashed passwords and customer IDs were affected by the incident.

Of note in the PDPC’s findings:

The Organisation’s forensic investigation results revealed that the Organisation’s IT infrastructure had been outdated, with multiple vulnerabilities at the time of the Incident. The Organisation’s e-commerce server ran on an outdated webserver service. This, together with an unpatched firewall, allowed the threat actor to remotely execute unauthorised code on the e-commerce server, and gained backdoor access to the e-commerce server to carry out the ransomware attack.

Of particular emphasis in explaining the penalty was the firm’s failure to have a contract in place with its IT vendor that clearly outlined its duties and scope of its work. That is an issue that the PDPC has reportedly stressed repeatedly.

Read the PDPC’s full report on their website.

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