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‘Trusted’ tech platform used by US govt offices held hostage in ransomware attack – media

A technology platform called iConstituent, which is used by many US government offices to connect with their constituents, has reportedly been affected by a ransomware attack.

According to reports, government offices have been unable to properly use the service for weeks since the cyberattack was made. Users of iConstituent include nearly 60 offices in the House of Representatives; the states of Illinois, Hawaii, Kentucky and Georgia; the cities of Los Angeles and East Palo Alto; and the New York State Assembly. The platform boasts of being “trusted by the nation’s leading government offices.”

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A quote from Pennsylvania State Senator Jay Costa is also featured on the iConstituent website, with Costa praising the platform for allowing his office to “stay in touch” with constituents “during COVID-19 by providing constituent outreach tools.”

Despite the importance of the service to many US government offices, iConstituent has yet to release a public statement on the matter.

However, Catherine Szpindor, Chief Administrative Officer of the US House of Representatives, told Punchbowl News that her office had been informed by iConstituent that its “e-newsletter system was hit with a ransomware attack” and that she is “coordinating with the impacted offices supported by iConstituent” to take measures ensuring the attack “does not affect the House network and offices’ data.”

Szpindor reassured Punchbowl News that the service affected by the attack – iConstituent’s e-newsletter system – is only “an external service available for House offices to purchase” and the government is “not aware of any impact to House data.”

Several ransomware attacks in the US have been reported recently, including an attack on the Colonial Pipeline that caused fuel shortages, one on the New York Metropolitan Transit Authority, and one on the leading meat processing company JBS, which temporarily disrupted meat production in the US and other countries.

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