Singtel Suffered Third-Party Breach In The Wake Of Accellion FTA Zero-Day Attack

Recently, active exploitation of a zero-day flaw in Accellion FTA software led to a data breach at Singtel.

Singtel Admits Third-Party Breach

Reportedly, Singapore’s largest telecommunication firm Singtel has suffered a data breach. Singtel has confirmed that the breach due to a third-party security issue, pointing at Accellion FTA vulnerability.

As elaborated in their security notice, Singtel used that software for internal and external information sharing with stakeholders and organizations.

Thus, upon being alerted about the FTA issue, Singtel started taking necessary actions.

Singtel uses this system to share information internally as well as with external stakeholders and organisations… The system has been taken offline and investigations are underway. Singtel is trying to assess the nature and extent of information that has been potentially accessed.

Sharing the timeline of the incident, the notice explained that the breach happened on January 20, 2021. After investigations, they could confirm in February that the security incident caused the loss of files.

This data breach may have potentially affected the customers as well. Singtel will, however, inform the affected customers about this later as the investigations continue.

Following the incident, Singtel has suspended the affected system. Whereas, its core operations and functions continue normally as they remained unaffected.

Accellion FTA Zero-Day Under Exploit

Accellion, the Singapore firm specializing in private cloud solutions and file sharing, has recently announced the sunset of its years-old file sharing product FTA.

Although the firm has already developed a more advanced software “kiteworks” to replace FTA, the latter remained in use by numerous customers globally.

A few months before the EOL, the cybercriminals spotted a zero-day vulnerability. Specifically, it was a SQL injection flaw that they started exploiting on December 23, 2020.

Consequently, the vulnerable software indirectly affected the security of consumer firms, including Singtel.

Before that, the Reserve Bank of New Zealand also suffered a breach due to the vulnerable software.

As Accellion stated in its press release,

In mid-December, Accellion was made aware of a zero-day vulnerability in its legacy FTA software. Accellion released a fix within 72 hours. This initial incident was the beginning of a concerted cyberattack on the Accellion FTA product that continued into January 2021. Accellion identified additional exploits in the ensuing weeks and rapidly developed and released patches to close each vulnerability. Accellion continues to work closely with FTA customers to mitigate the impact of the attack and to monitor for anomalies.

Recently, Accellion announced the official end-of-life for FTA by this April following the attacks. They encourage all customers to upgrade to kiteworks that Accellion confirmed to have remained unaffected.

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