Hackers Breached US Local Government by Exploiting Fortinet Bugs

By Courtney Rosario on May 28th, 2021 | Tags: , ,

FBI Ransomware Alert

As of May 2021, state-sponsored hackers have compromised the webserver of a U.S. municipal government after hacking into a Fortinet appliance.  The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) states that after gaining access to the organization’s server, the hackers moved laterally through the network and created a new domain controller, server, and workstation user accounts to mimic the existing ones.

Not the First Warning:

The FBI and the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) had warned in April 2021 of hacking groups that had gained access to Fortinet appliances by exploiting FortiOS vulnerabilities.  Once they breach a vulnerable server, they will use them in future attacks targeting networks across critical infrastructure sectors.  Hackers will use exploitation techniques such as spear phishing to infiltrate organization networks to prepare follow-up attacks.


The size of the attack is unknown; however, the impact on the local government and personal information could have been much higher. Cyber-attacks are preventable if you have strong security and know the best practices for them.

At CREG Systems, we believe that cybersecurity is a shared concern. In other words, we all play a part in keeping our networks safe. Organizations, their leaders, users, and the solutions provider all work together to manage your cybersecurity.

Multi-Layered Security:

We recommend a multi-layered approach to your network and data security. A multi-layered security approach uses several security measures to protect essential information. The numerous “levels” of security make it difficult for hackers to get through every barrier.

We offer cybersecurity services to businesses that support the education of employees and lessen cybersecurity dangers.

Mitigate the Risk of a Cyber Attack:

Detect Mitigate Prevent

CREG Systems ensures that the data you share and store is secure and protected, which pledges efficient operation and credibility to your organization. Our certified and highly-trained staff will meet your needs and plan a security system roll-out strategy that best fits your goals.

  • Hardware & Software
    • Keep your data safe by using the most up-to-date security software and hardware.  Make sure you are secured through NEXTGEN firewalls, use sandboxing for extra protection, and ensure you have a defense at the gate.
  • Multi-level Protection
    • From your desktop to the firewall, each device in your organization should have segmented and multi-layered protection. Usually, you can stop a data breach before it threatens your vital information.
  • Insider threats
    • While many organizations have multi-layer security systems and data protection in place, there could still be other risks to consider. Former employees can be a threat to your cybersecurity.  Be sure to remove any access they may have and their data as soon as they leave the organization.  Be sure to teach employees about the importance of security and have regular testing to ensure your data is secure.
  • Good Cyber Habits
    • Be sure to keep your information backed up but, never keep your backups online.  Be sure to keep your systems updated and double-check apps to determine if they are corrupt or not. Limit access privileges and use two-factor authentication.  Preventing cyber threats is better than curing them.

Our staff are trained and certified as Certified Information Security System Professional (CISSP), Certified Ethical Hacker, and Certified Wireless Network Administrator and holds CompTIA A+, CompTIA Network+, CompTIA Security+, Windows Server, and Microsoft Exchange certificates. In conclusion, our staff is the best equipped to deliver you the best cybersecurity in the North Country.

CREG Managed Security Services