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WPP Client Info Looks Safe, but Ransomware Attacks Can Mask Data Grabs

by George Slefo // June 28, 2017

Wednesday’s ransomware attack presented itself as a money grab by hackers, asking its targets to pay up in exchange for getting their computers back. And though there’s no sign that there’s more to it at this point, one analyst is warning agencies to remain on guard, because attacks like this sometimes go further than they seem.

WPP CEO Martin Sorrell, whose giant agency holding company was one of those rocked by the attacks, said there is “no indication that either employee or client data has been compromised.”

But previous attacks in other industries have sometimes sought more than just money, according to Jeff Pollard, principal analyst at Forrester.

“On the surface it is ransomware,” Pollard said. “The attackers are certainly seeking bitcoin. But one thing companies have to be cautious of is whether or not this represents the entirety of the attack or if there was some other purpose for the attack.”

“We have seen numerous times in the financial services industry where there’s an attack on a website, but that it was actually a smoke screen for something else,” he added.



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