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Australian Corporate Regulator Discloses Breach Involving Accellion Software

The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) on Monday disclosed a security incident that involved Accellion software.

An independent commission of the Australian government, ASIC is the national corporate regulator, overseeing enterprise and financial services and also tasked with the enforcement of laws designed to protect consumers, creditors, and investors in Australia.

The newly disclosed incident, ASIC says, was identified on January 15, 2021, and resulted in unauthorized access to one of its servers, on which documents related to recent Australian credit license applications were stored.

“This incident is related to Accellion software used by ASIC to transfer files and attachments,” the Australian regulator says.

The watchdog says that there’s no evidence that license application forms or attachments were accessed or downloaded, but notes that “there is some risk that some limited information may have been viewed by the threat actor.”

Access to the affected server has been disabled, to contain the incident, and an investigation into the matter has been launched. Furthermore, ASIC and Accellion are working on notifying the impacted parties, the Commission says.

Responding to a SecurityWeek inquiry, ASIC stressed on the fact that, while the investigation continues, no data appears to have been accessed or downloaded.

“While we are still checking the underlying context, with others, the credit licence process was immediately addressed. The site was deactivated, taken down, and in the process of being returned to service,” ASIC said.

The regulator did not say what Accellion software was involved in the incident, but chances are that the FTA (File Transfer Application) file sharing service was the culprit.

A legacy product, FTA was recently revealed to have been at the heart of a similar security incident, involving the Reserve Bank of New Zealand – Te Pūtea Matua.

In December 2020, Accellion, a provider of cloud solutions designed to secure file sharing and collaboration, addressed a critical vulnerability in FTA, and that issue is suspected to have been abused by hackers to target affected customers (less than 50 in total).

SecurityWeek has reached out to Accellion for a comment on the matter, but the company only pointed to a press release published earlier this month. 

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