In a significant cybersecurity incident, approximately 60 credit unions across the United States are grappling with outages due to a ransomware attack on a crucial IT provider commonly used by these financial institutions, as confirmed by the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) on Friday.
The NCUA, responsible for insuring deposits at federally insured credit unions, issued a statement to CNN, indicating that it is actively “coordinating with affected credit unions” in the aftermath of the cyberattack. As of Friday evening, the full extent of the outage and its impact on the credit unions remains unclear.
One of the affected credit unions, Mountain Valley Federal Credit Union based in New York, reported that technicians from the compromised IT provider were “working around the clock to get our systems” back online.
The disrupted services are linked to Trellance, a cloud computing firm utilized by credit unions. Joseph Adamoli, a spokesperson for the NCUA, disclosed in a statement to CNN that the ransomware attack, a tactic where cybercriminals lock computer systems for extortion purposes, specifically targeted a unit of Trellance.
Trellance has yet to respond to requests for comments on the incident, leaving many credit unions and their members in limbo as they await further updates.
The Record, a respected cybersecurity news publication, was among the first to report on the ransomware attack, shedding light on the severity of the situation.
This incident adds to a growing list of ransomware attacks that have wreaked havoc on critical infrastructure in the United States in recent years. Notable sectors, including hospitals, fuel pipelines, and schools, have all fallen victim to these file-locking cyberattacks. The Biden administration has increasingly recognized ransomware as a national security crisis, responding with heightened attention and initiatives to address the growing threat to the nation’s cybersecurity. As investigations into this latest attack unfold, the focus on fortifying cybersecurity measures across various sectors is likely to intensify.