Radar system

US defense contractor Electronic Warfare hit by data breach

US defense contractor Electronic Warfare Associates (EWA) revealed a data breach after threat actors hacked into their email system and stole files containing personal information.

The company says the impact of the breach was limited, but confirmed that the threat perpetrator was able to exfiltrate files containing sensitive information.

As detailed in a notice to the Montana Attorney General’s Office, EWA found that a threat actor took over one of their email accounts on August 2, 2021.

The company spotted the infiltration when the hacker attempted a cable fraud, which appears to be the actor’s primary target.

“Based on our investigation, we have determined that a threat actor infiltrated the EWA email on August 2, 2021. We were notified of the situation where the threat actor attempted an online fraud.” law in the EWA data incident notification.

“We have no reason to believe that the purpose of the infiltration was to obtain personal information. However, the activities of the threat actor resulted in the exfiltration of files with certain personal information (as described below).”

Based on the investigation that followed, it was discovered that the names, social security numbers (SSN) and driver’s licenses of the recipients of the alert were also stolen.

As such, the online fraud attempt may have been a distraction, which is entirely plausible for sophisticated actors interested in targeting highly sensitive companies of this type.

It is unclear whether the stolen information pertains only to company employees and whether or not the technical documents were stolen during the incident.

In response to the lack of security, the company is now offering a two-year subscription to identity theft protection services through Equifax.

Additionally, the notice urges recipients to closely monitor their credit reports and financial statements.

A high profile clientele

EWA is a specialist in high-tech defense hardware and software solutions for communication, access control, simulation, training, management, testing and monitoring (radar) systems.

Example of EWA products used by the US DOD
Example of EWA products used by the US DOD
Source: EWA

Many of these products are made for highly sensitive customers, including the United States Department of Defense (Army, Navy, Air Force, DARPA, OSD), Department of Justice and Homeland Security (DHS).

A data breach on the company’s email systems could also have compromised the secrets of military technology as EWA develops and designs these products in-house.

EWA also develops commercial products through subsidiary brands such as Corelis (electronic testing and analysis) and Blackhawk (debugging tools).

We reached out to EWA asking for more details about the hacking incident and the exact impact it has on them and will update this post if we get a response.

Past accidents

Electronic Warfare Associates has been hit by hackers again, with one notable case being a 2020 Ryuk ransomware attack.

A few days before that incident made headlines, BleepingComputer reported the emergence of a new specialized version of Ryuk focused specifically on the theft of data from government and military entities.

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