Bose admits ransomware attack exposed employee data

Computer virus transfer into a desktop PC by internet LAN line
(Image credit: Shutterstock)

Bose has confirmed that it had experienced a data breach, having fallen victim to a ransomware attack in early March.

The audio equipment manufacturer admitted to the incident in a letter sent to the office of the Attorney General at the New Hampshire Consumer Protection Bureau last week. In the filing, the company's legal representative said that Bose had "experienced a sophisticated cyber-incident that resulted in the deployment of malware/ransomware across [its] environment". The incident is only known to have affected Bose's US systems.

"Immediately upon discovering the attack on March 7, Bose initiated incident response protocols, activated its technical team to contain the incident, and hardened its defenses against unauthorized activity," the letter continued.

In late April, the company's investigation found that hackers managed to obtain HR data "relating to six former New Hampshire employees", including "name, Social Security Number, and compensation-related information".

Although Bose's investigators could not find "evidence to confirm that the data contained in these files was successfully exfiltrated", the company was also "unable to confirm that it was not".

According to Bose's representative, the company has taken steps to further investigate the data breach by cooperating with the FBI as well as employing "experts to monitor the dark web for any indications of leaked data".

The company has also sought to mitigate the chances of a future cyber attack occurring by enhancing its server and endpoint security, performing "detailed forensics analysis on the impacted server to analyse the impact of the malware/ransomware", and "enhanced monitoring and logging to identify any future actions by the threat actor or similar types of attacks".

It also confirmed that the malicious files used during the attack, as well as "newly identified malicious sites and IPs linked to this threat actor", had been blocked.

Bose Media Relations Director Joanne Berthiaume told IT Pro that the company had not made "any ransom payment".

The identity of the hackers is not known, but the incident follows in the footsteps of several other recent high-profile ransomware attacks that targeted Colonial Pipeline, as well as the Irish and New Zealand health services.

Sabina Weston

Having only graduated from City University in 2019, Sabina has already demonstrated her abilities as a keen writer and effective journalist. Currently a content writer for Drapers, Sabina spent a number of years writing for ITPro, specialising in networking and telecommunications, as well as charting the efforts of technology companies to improve their inclusion and diversity strategies, a topic close to her heart.

Sabina has also held a number of editorial roles at Harper's Bazaar, Cube Collective, and HighClouds.