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Vodafone Portugal hit by a massive cyberattack

A cyberattack hit Vodafone Portugal causing severe outages in the country of its communication and television services.

Vodafone Portugal suffered a major cyberattack that caused service outages in the country, media reported the temporary disruption of 4G/5G communications and television services.

“Vodafone was the target of a network disruption that began on the night of February 7, 2022 due to a deliberate and malicious cyberattack intended to cause damage and disruption. As soon as the first sign of a problem on the network was detected, Vodafone acted immediately to identify and contain the effects and restore services.” reads the announcement published by the company. “This situation is affecting the provision of services based on data networks, namely the 4G/5G network, fixed voice, television, SMS and voice/digital answering services.”

Vodafone labeled the incident as “a deliberate and malicious attack intended to cause damage,” the company have no evidence that customer data has been accessed as result of the attack.

“The attack late Monday affected the company’s 4G and 5G services, fixed line and SMS services, and digital and voice customer services” reported the Associated Press.

At the time of this writing, only the 3G network was up in almost all the country, and the company is working to restore the impacted services. However, the recovery will happen progressively throughout this Tuesday.

Vodafone Portugal has over four million cellphone subscribers in the country, and roughly 3.4 million home and business internet customers.

“As it is certain that the in-depth investigation of the criminal act to which we were subjected will continue indefinitely and with the involvement of the competent authorities, we have no evidence to date that Customer data has been accessed and/or compromised.” continues the announcement.

Vodafone did not disclose details on the attack, but the outages and the unavailability of its systems suggest that the company was hit by a ransomware attack.

Early this year, the Lapsus$ ransomware gang compromised the infrastructure of Impresa, the largest media conglomerate in Portugal. Impresa owns SIC TV channel, and Expresso newspaper, among other leading media, like several magazine publications.

The attack took place during the New Year holiday, the websites of the Impresa group, the SIC TV channels, and the Expresso were forced offline.

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Pierluigi Paganini

(SecurityAffairs – hacking, Vodafone Portugal)

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