MaxLinear hit by 'Maze' ransomware attack

MaxLinear disclosed Tuesday that the chipmaker has been hit by a "Maze" ransomware attack that resulted in the online release of certain proprietary information on June 15.

MaxLinear didn't specify what information was released or what amount of money the digital extortionist is seeking. But it noted in this SEC filing that the breach affected some of its operational systems within its IT infrastructure.

"The ransomware attack has not materially affected our production and shipment capabilities, and order fulfillment has continued without material interruption," MaxLinear said, noting that it has no plans to satisfy the attacker's monetary demands.

MaxLinear, which is in the process of acquiring Intel Corp.'s home connectivity business and about to become an even more critical supplier of silicon for DOCSIS cable modems and gateways, said it has engaged an unnamed third party to evaluate the information posted on malicious websites and provide additional advice.

In the meantime, MaxLinear said it has also connected its internal IT team with a "leading cyber defense firm" to help it take additional steps to contain and assess the incident. MaxLinear noted it carries cybersecurity insurance and has also engaged with law enforcement about the attack.

"We have been able to re-establish certain affected systems and equipment, and this work is ongoing," the company said. "Although we have incurred and will incur incremental costs as a result of forensic investigation and remediation, we do not currently expect that the incident will materially or adversely affect our operating expenses."

Ransomware is a malicious program used by hackers to seize control of and post proprietary data and files and attempt to extort payment from the victim to recover them. FireEye, a cybersecurity company, noted in this blog post that malicious actors have been deploying Maze ransomware since at least May 2019. The attacks have spanned several industries, with a particular focus on manufacturing, business and professional services, consumer goods, insurance and financial services.

Dark Reading, a cyber security-focused news site owned by the same company as Light Reading, reported last month that a high-profile Maze attack surfaced in April that targeted IT services giant Cognizant.

New and emerging tactics, including those centered around "shaming" websites that release key proprietary and personal data, are putting increased pressure on Maze targets and making it more difficult for businesses to defend themselves against Maze attacks, the report noted. Additionally, some Maze attackers are known to move on to the customers of their intended targets if they don't get paid off.

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— Jeff Baumgartner, Senior Editor, Light Reading

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