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Lighting Giant Acuity Brands Discloses Two Data Breaches

Lighting and building management giant Acuity Brands has publicly disclosed two data breaches suffered by the company in recent years, including one that may have involved ransomware.

The Atlanta, Georgia-based firm employs roughly 13,000 people and has operations in North America, Europe and Asia.

Lighting and building management giant Acuity Brands has publicly disclosed two data breaches suffered by the company in recent years, including one that may have involved ransomware.

The Atlanta, Georgia-based firm employs roughly 13,000 people and has operations in North America, Europe and Asia.

In a data security incident notice published in recent days, Acuity Brands said it became aware of unauthorized access to its systems and data theft in early December 2021. The investigation into the incident revealed a separate, unrelated breach that occurred in October 2020, which also involved attempts to copy files from compromised systems.

An investigation revealed that the information compromised in the two incidents belonged to current and former employees and members of Acuity’s health plan. There is no indication that customer information was stolen.

The information included name, Social Security number, Acuity health plan information, driver’s license number, financial account information, limited health information, and other details related to employment.

Acuity Brands’ data security incident notice does not mention ransomware, but SecurityWeek has found evidence suggesting that the 2021 attack may have been carried out by the notorious Conti ransomware group. We have emailed Acuity for confirmation.

The Conti operation was shut down earlier this year after the brand became toxic due to some members making controversial statements about supporting Russia’s war efforts against Ukraine. The Tor-based Conti leak website is no longer accessible, but Red Packet Security’s ransomware website archives show that Conti apparently leaked some data allegedly stolen from Acuity in January 2022.

File names suggest that information related to human resources and finances was made public by the hackers.

Nearly one year has passed since Conti listed the company on its website. However, Acuity told DataBreaches this week that it first informed customers, partners and others about the breach in December 2021, and the new notification is a follow-up to notify impacted associates and provide them with the necessary resources.

Acuity Brands may be facing legal action as a result of these security incidents. A California-based class action law firm issued a press release on Wednesday, urging impacted individuals to get in touch.

Related: Ransomware Gang Takes Credit for Maple Leaf Foods Hack

Related: Conti Ransomware Activity Surges Despite Exposure of Group’s Operations

Related: New Black Basta Ransomware Possibly Linked to Conti Group

Written By

Eduard Kovacs (@EduardKovacs) is a contributing editor at SecurityWeek. He worked as a high school IT teacher for two years before starting a career in journalism as Softpedia’s security news reporter. Eduard holds a bachelor’s degree in industrial informatics and a master’s degree in computer techniques applied in electrical engineering.

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