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December 26, 2023

Cyberattacks “paralysed” cloud businesses, Slack wore a new look – August 2023 in review

In a number of ransomware attacks claiming different victims, businesses are having to recover themselves from catastrophic data breaches, if they are to recover at all. 

By Lauren Hurrell

August 2023 kicked off with Atos planning a €2 billion sale of its Tech Foundations IT infrastructure business to Czech billionaire investor Daniel Kretinsky, following the business’s ongoing restructuring of its operations in a year-long period. Atos reported an operating loss of €434m for H1 2023, as revenue from Tech Foundations declined by 0.1%. 

cyberattack
August saw a number of catastrophic ransomware attacks target businesses. (Photo by Rawpixel.com via Shutterstock)

The sale allows the French IT services provider to pivot to refocus on its more profitable cybersecurity business, Eviden, which grew 7% in the same period. The parent company will adopt the name Eviden, a variant of the Evidian brand previously used for its security products, to become “a global leader in digital transformation with full strategic flexibility and enhanced capital structure to further accelerate its development,” the Atos leadership team, Nourdine Bihmane, Diane Galbe and Philippe Oliva, said in a joint statement. 

In a pivot to reprioritise search and productivity, August also saw Salesforces give Slack a huge redesign update. The design update for the workplace app was intended to allow users to focus more closely on tasks that needed to be completed collaboratively, reducing the instances wherein they would need to jump between one section or the other. Other features were included in the redesign to elevate the platform’s dynamic usability, such as a new in-built AI chatbot and new data integration processes with Salesforce’s data cloud. 

Cyberattacks continued throughout August

Elsewhere, ransomware gang LockBit claimed to have mounted a cyberattack against healthcare business Varian Medical Systems, threatening to expose the medical information of cancer patients if the software provider for oncology departments refused to enter ransom negotiations for the data. Without further comment, the parent company, Siemens Healthineers, confirmed with Tech Monitor in a statement that an internal investigation into the alleged breach was underway. It was, at the time, the third cyberattack to befall Varian’s parent company in four months. 

Towards the end of the month, a ransomware scale attack targeted two Danish cloud hosting businesses AzeroCloud and CloudNordic. The scale of the attack was so colossal it forced both cloud providers to shut down. A notice from CloudNordic claimed the attack had “paralysed” the company. While IT teams fought to restore the lost data, the firm was forced to announce that the majority of their customers’ data was lost – probably permanently, the cloud provider feared. 

Another breach, of a third-party Discord app called Discord.io, saw 760,000 users’ information leaked after data including usernames, email addresses, some billing addresses, hashed passwords and Discord IDs, was posted on a hacking forum. The app allows users to send custom invites for their channels, of which the Discord server has amassed more than 14,000 members. Discord.io consequently “shut down all operations for the foreseeable future” and “cancelled existing premium subscriptions” as it looked to address the breach. 

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