Hawaii Payroll Services is a Hawaiian company, founded in 2003, and it provides payroll processing, 401 reporting, and payroll tax filing. It is a domestic limited liability company and serves more than 120 companies including Rainforest at Kilohana Square, Diamond Bakery, Yummy’s BBQ, and Jean’s Warehouse.
It has been in news recently because of its recent ransomware attack. According to reports, the attack happened in February but came into the news some days back only. As per the company, the attack must have been carried out by a criminal who somehow managed to compromise a client account.
According to sources, the attackers gained the access to the Hawaii Payroll systems by compromising client account, hence executing privilege escalation system that enabled the attacker to disable and control the server, which led to encrypting data feed into the servers.
When got to know, the company suspended all the remote client access servers and asked the third-party vendors to handle IT operations so as to know the damage that might the attackers has done to the servers.
In May, letters were sent to the people who got affected by the attack. But it turns out that some of them still remain unopened, so Hawaii Payroll Services is trying to contact those victims so to tell them about this discrepancy. Although, there is no solid report as to whether the data has been leaked on the dark web or not.
Whoever initiates the attack holds the data hostage until a ransom payment or some other arrangement in exchange for access to the encrypted information is reached. According to the Justice Department, in some cases, cyber criminals have pressured victims by threatening to destroy their data or make it public.