A new ransomware was able to hack several members of the United States Congress. Security experts confirmed that 60 of them were affected by the massive online attack. 

New Hack Targeting iConstituent Also Affects 60 Members Of US Congress
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Concertina razor wire tops the 8-foot 'non-scalable' fence that surrounds the U.S. Capitol the day after the House of Representatives voted to impeach President Donald Trump for the second time January 14, 2021 in Washington, DC. Thousands of National Guard troops have been activated to protect the nation's capital against threats surrounding President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration and to prevent a repeat of last week’s deadly insurrection at the U.S. Capitol.

Involved investigators and researchers announced that the new hack specifically breached iConstituent, which the tech vendor provides constituent outreach services to dozens of House offices. Its services offered include tracking constituent casework, newsletter communication service for lawmakers, and more. 

As of the moment, it is the latest cyber breach after the series of hacks that targeted the U.S. executive branch and other United States-based firms. Like the recent, ransomware schemes, which left many companies and institutions vulnerable to hacks, the new iConstituent breach could also lead to the same scenario. 

Ransomware Did Not Breach Entire House Data

Ransomware attacks are pretty dangerous right now. Some of them were able to breach the Massachusetts Ferry Service and Microsoft Exchange Email services

On the other hand, the new iConstituent attack doesn't seem to be that serious since The Office of the Chief Administrative Officer, which handles IT security for the House of Representatives, confirmed that the new breach was not able to infiltrate the overall House data of the U.S. Congress. 

New Hack Targeting iConstituent Also Affects 60 Members Of US Congress

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Lt. Mike Baute from Florida's Child Predator CyberCrime Unit talks with people on instant messenger during the unveiling of a new CyberCrimes office March 7, 2008 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. One of the people on the other side of the chat told Lt. Baute, who is saying he is a 14 year old girl, that he is a 31 year old male and sent him a photograph of himself.

Also Read: Cox Media Group's Ransomware Attack Disrupted Several TV and Radio Stations, Investigation is Ongoing

"At this time, the CAO is not aware of any impact to House data. The CAO is coordinating with the impacted offices supported by iConstituent and has taken measures to ensure that the attack does not affect the House network and offices' data," explained the government agency. 

The U.S. Congress is still lucky since it didn't affect its entire system, especially since various lawmaker officials already sent some payments in thousands of dollars to iConstituent. According to The Daily Mail U.K.'s latest report, the U.S. Congress said that it is already working on the new ransomware attack so that the tech firm could solve it as soon as possible. 

Should Companies Pay for Ransomware Attacks? 

Some critics claimed that companies and government agencies should avoid paying hackers after ransomware breach their systems. However, Forbes reported that banning ransomware payments could lead to a bigger crisis. 

Trend Micro's Chief Cybersecurity Officer Ed Cabrera explained that once the United States bans the payment demands of these hackers, various online attackers and other cybercriminals will use more efficient tools to breach their systems and publish sensitive user information. 

For more news updates about other security threats, always keep your tabs open here at TechTimes.   

Related Article: FBI Director Compares Threats of Ransomware Attacks to 9/11 Terrorism, Says Each of Them is Difficult to Combat and Prevent

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Written by: Griffin Davis

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