(PresidentialInsider.com)- Ransomware attacks just won’t stop happening, and the latest victim is “iConstituent,” a tech vendor that works with dozens of offices across the House of Representatives. It’s a private business, but given its close work with elected government officials, it’s an extremely concerning indication that hackers are very much intent on obtaining as much sensitive data from the government as possible.
Punchbowl News reported how as many as 60 offices in the House of Representatives, including offices from both political parties, were blocked from accessing information about their constituents on the iConstituent system for a period of weeks.
This is likely to be a focus of discussions between President Joe Biden and Russian President Vladimir Putin during their summit in Geneva, Switzerland, next week – but the Russian leader recently insisted that Russia was not behind the Colonial Pipeline or JBS hacks.
iConstituent, which is pitched as a “Constituent Engagement Platform,” is designed to make it easier for congressional offices to connect with their constituents and manage both internal and external communications. The company also works with the state assembly of New York and various other political offices across California, Los Angeles, Nevada, and beyond.
If hackers wanted to get government data and information without directly hacking government computers, then iConstituent would be the perfect choice.
The company is reportedly working with Catherine Szpindor, the chief administrative officer of the House of Representatives, to figure out how to contain the problem and regain control of their systems.
However, if recent precedent is anything to go by, this could be another example of American companies forking out millions of dollars worth of Bitcoin in ransom. It was revealed this month that JBS paid around $11 million to hackers to regain control of their systems, but we also learned that the roughly $4 million in Bitcoin paid by Colonial following the pipeline hack was mostly recovered by the FBI.
With no end to these cyberattacks in sight, it’s about time President Joe Biden stepped up his game and figured out how to respond.