Payroll service suffers ransomware attacks as Log4Shell causes trouble

While the world is dealing with Log4Shell, likely the most severe vulnerability ever, one of the largest human resources solution providers reports a ransomware attack that has kept its systems offline for the next few weeks. So yet, the corporation hasn’t said whether hackers leveraged the critical vulnerability to access the systems.

According to the company, Kronos’ UKG Workforce Central, UKG TeleStaff, and Banking Scheduling Solutions services were all inaccessible for the past day.

Kronos representative Leo Daley wrote, “At this time, we still do not have an estimated restoration time, and it is likely that the issue may require at least several days to resolve.” He added, “We continue to recommend that our impacted customers evaluate alternative plans to process time and attendance data for payroll processing, to manage schedules, and to manage other related operations important to their organization.”

After ten hours, Daley issued an update, stating that the disruption was caused by ransomware and that the restoration of system availability “may take up to several weeks to restore system availability.”

Kronos staff declined to say whether a Log4Shell exploit caused the original hack against their systems in response to an email. But it wouldn’t be out of the question if that were the case. The Log4J software foundation, on which Kronos’ cloud services are built, relies primarily on Java. 

The Log4Shell vulnerability is simple to exploit, allowing hackers to run malicious code with elevated system rights. Users visiting a page with a browser that includes plaintext commands in the user agent are frequently the source of assaults.

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