PC maker Framework reveals data breach after accountants get hacked

A lifestyle image of the Framework laptop surrounded by replaceable components
(Image credit: Framework)

Accountants Keating Consulting fell prey to a phishing attack earlier this week, which resulted in a leak of sensitive data belonging to one of its clients - Framework Computer.

The news was confirmed by the PC maker via a breach notification letter sent to affected customers. 

Spotted by BleepingComputer, the letter states that a threat actor impersonated the CEO of Framework Computer and tricked a Keating Consulting accountant into sharing classified information.

Mandatory training

"On January 9th, at 4:27am PST, the attacker sent an email to the accountant impersonating our CEO asking for Accounts Receivable information pertaining to outstanding balances for Framework purchases," it says in the notification letter. "On January 11th at 8:13am PST, the accountant responded to the attacker and provided a spreadsheet with the following information: Full Name, Email Address, Balance Owed.” We don’t know exactly how many people were affected.

"Note that this list was primarily of a subset of open pre-orders, but some completed past orders with pending accounting syncs were also included in this list."

All of the customers whose data was exposed in this attack were identified, and notified. They were warned of potential phishing attacks and social engineering scams, and were urged to be extra careful when receiving emails pretending to be either from Keating or Framework Computer. The company stressed that it will only send emails from the “support@frame.work” address, and that it will never ask for payment information this way. 

Going forward, all Keating Consulting employees who can access Framework’s sensitive data will have to go through phishing and social engineering attack training, the company concluded. 

"We are also auditing their standard operating procedures around information requests," Framework said. "We are additionally auditing the trainings and standard operating procedures of all other accounting and finance consultants who currently or previously have had access to customer information."

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Sead is a seasoned freelance journalist based in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina. He writes about IT (cloud, IoT, 5G, VPN) and cybersecurity (ransomware, data breaches, laws and regulations). In his career, spanning more than a decade, he’s written for numerous media outlets, including Al Jazeera Balkans. He’s also held several modules on content writing for Represent Communications.