HR Platform Kronos, Victim of Ransomware Attack, Says It Will Take ‘Several Weeks’ To Restore System

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Ultimate Kronos Company, a human resources management company used by several big name brands, corporations and municipalities, was the victim of a ransomware attack on Dec.11.

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“The ransomware incident is affecting the Kronos Private Cloud — the portion of our business where UKG Workforce Central, UKG TeleStaff, Healthcare Extensions and Banking Scheduling Solutions are deployed,” the company said in a statement posted on its website.

The company said it was working with leading cyber security experts to assess and resolve the situation and has notified the authorities.

“While we are working diligently, our Kronos Private Cloud solutions are currently unavailable. Given that it may take up to several weeks to restore system availability, we strongly recommend that you evaluate and implement alternative business continuity protocols related to the affected UKG solutions,” the company said in the statement.

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High profile clients using Kronos systems include Tesla, Puma and the YMCA, USA Today reports.

ZDNet reports that the attack caused a stir online, with some cybersecurity experts reporting multiple messages from companies that could no longer process payroll as of Monday morning due to the outage.

“Other sources said the outage would cause them to miss payroll for this week — a harrowing idea considering how close Christmas is — while many are scrambling to find alternative solutions,” according to ZDnet.

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ZDnet adds that Kronos’ work management software is used by dozens of major corporations, local governments, and enterprises, including the City of Cleveland, Tesla, Temple University, Winthrop University Hospital, Clemson University and U.K. supermarket chain Sainsburys.

The City of Cleveland posted a message on its website saying that UKG had informed the city and its other clients that it is working to assess and resolve the situation as quickly as possible.

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“In the meantime, the City will continue timely payroll processing and ensure employees receive their pay without interruption,” according to the statement.

“Some of the data accessed may have included some employees’ first and last names, addresses, last four of the SSN, and employee ID. While UKG’s investigation is still ongoing, we wanted to share these initial findings as soon as they were available.”

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About the Author

Yaël Bizouati-Kennedy is a full-time financial journalist and has written for several publications, including Dow Jones, The Financial Times Group, Bloomberg and Business Insider. She also worked as a vice president/senior content writer for major NYC-based financial companies, including New York Life and MSCI. Yaël is now freelancing and most recently, she co-authored  the book “Blockchain for Medical Research: Accelerating Trust in Healthcare,” with Dr. Sean Manion. (CRC Press, April 2020) She holds two master’s degrees, including one in Journalism from New York University and one in Russian Studies from Université Toulouse-Jean Jaurès, France.
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