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LI software maker targeted in ransomware attack

Verint Systems officials said the attack on April 16 was repulsed by the Melville company and its computer systems were restored "in less than 24 hours."

Verint Systems, which makes cybersecurity software, was the

Verint Systems, which makes cybersecurity software, was the target of a ransomware attack earlier this month, the Melville company said. Credit: Steve Pfost

Verint Systems Inc., a provider of cybersecurity software, was itself the target of a ransomware attack, the Melville company said.

The attack on April 16 was repulsed and Verint's computer systems were restored "in less than 24 hours without any impact to customers or partners," the company said in a news release last week.

Verint, Long Island's ninth-largest public company based on 2017 revenue of $1.14 billion, said it was able to contain the attack, in part, by using its own software and that no ransom was paid.

A company spokesman did not respond to a request for further comment.

 In a ransomware attack, the online intruders typically threaten to deny a company access to data they have scrambled or to publish damaging material such as private customer data unless a ransom is paid.

Verint's shares edged up 0.1 percent at closing Monday to $60.81. Twelve months ago, the stock was trading at $42.10.

A screenshot of an employee's computer published in The Marker, a business publication in Israel, where Verint conducts research and development, said the company was facing a "critical issue" and urged employees to turn off their computers if they got a ransomware pop-up.

Steve Morgan, founder and editor-in-chief at Cybersecurity Ventures, a market research and intelligence firm based in Northport, said that ransomware is big business.

"Ransomware damage costs are predicted to exceed $20 billion globally by 2021, up from around $325 million in 2015," he said.

Morgan said that Verint likely was able to restore its systems quickly because it had a full system backup, an important strategy for any business.

"Backing up all of your data is the best defense against a ransomware attack," he said.

In the fiscal year ended Jan. 31, Verint's cyberintelligence software accounted for about 35 percent of revenue.

Verint sells software to government agencies to detect and investigate cyberattacks, and collect and analyze data on potential terrorist and law enforcement threats by monitoring social media and the dark web.

The remainder of Verint's revenue comes from hardware and software used to run business call centers.

In November, another Long Island company disclosed it had been the victim of a cyberattack that gave hackers access to confidential corporate and employee information "over a period of years."

Veeco Instruments Inc., a Plainview manufacturer of equipment used to make solid-state lighting and other semiconductor devices, acknowledged it may never be able to identify who was behind the "highly sophisticated" attack, but said it has strengthened its defenses to lessen the likelihood of a future breach.

As of July 31, Verint had about 6,100 employees, with about 41 percent in the Americas, including a 49,000-square-foot leased headquarters in Melville and a 133,000-square-foot facility in Alpharetta, Georgia. The company also has a 176,000-square-foot facility in Herzliya, Israel.


 

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