Major European call center provider goes down in ransomware attack
GSS, the Spanish and Latin America division of Covisian, one of Europe's largest customer care and call center providers, has suffered a debilitating ransomware attack that froze a large part of its IT systems and crippled call centers across its Spanish-speaking customerbase.
Call centers and automated customer support phone services for companies and government organizations in Spain and Latin America have been unreachable this week.
Among the affected services are Vodafone Spain, the MasMovil ISP, Madrid's water supply company, television stations, and many private businesses, a source familiar with the attack told The Record.
In a letter sent to affected customers, GSS officials said they took down all internal systems affected by the attack earlier and are currently using Google-based systems as an alternative.
"None of the applications will be working until the incident is resolved," the company said at the time. A timeframe for the recovery efforts was not provided.
In the first line of the letter, GSS called the ransomware attack "inevitable/unavoidable," and our source could not explain what GSS might be referring to.
A Covisian spokesperson told The Record the attack was carried out by the Conti gang on Saturday, September 18.
Even if the Conti gang is known for stealing data from attacked network, Covisian said there was "no evidence of leakage of any personal data" and that the incident did not impact any of its customers.
Covisian provides customer support services in other European countries, but the attack was limited to GSS' network only.
INCIBE, Spain's National Institute of Cyber-Security, did not return a request for comment about the GSS incident.
The attack on GSS comes after a ransomware gang also hit TTEC, a company that provides similar call center and customer support services across the US, earlier this month.
Catalin Cimpanu is a cybersecurity reporter for The Record. He previously worked at ZDNet and Bleeping Computer, where he became a well-known name in the industry for his constant scoops on new vulnerabilities, cyberattacks, and law enforcement actions against hackers.