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Afni Shuts Down Its Network After ‘Suspicious Activities’ Detected

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Bloomington-based Afni, which started in the 1930s as a consumer collections agency, is now a global business process outsourcing firm. Its customer engagement products include call centers.
Updated: June 15, 2021 at 4:17 PM CDT
In a follow-up statement Tuesday, Afni says "the incident has been contained" and that the FBI has been notified. Here is the full statement:

"On June 7, 2021, at approximately 11:30 a.m. CDT, Afni observed suspicious activities impacting part of its network. Afni voluntarily shut down the network and implemented our incident response plan. We took our global systems offline, isolated impacted systems, retained cybersecurity counsel, forensic experts, and reported the event to the FBI. The incident has been contained and we are working to ensure all critical systems are back in service."

Afni said Friday it is investigating the origin of “suspicious activities” on its computer network this week, leading to a voluntarily shutdown for several days.

Bloomington-based Afni, which has around 9,000 employees worldwide, issued a brief statement to WGLT about what happened.

“On June 7, 2021, at approximately 11:30 a.m. CDT, Afni observed suspicious activities impacting part of its network. Afni voluntarily shut down the network and launched an investigation to understand the nature, cause, and scope of the suspicious activities.”

It’s unclear if the network is back online.

Afni did not specify the nature of those “suspicious activities.” A spokesperson declined comment when asked if it was a ransomware attack. The FBI declined to confirm or deny what happened, as per its policy.

Several companies with U.S. operations have been hit with high-profile ransomware attacks in recent weeks. In the latest example, the world's largest meat processor, JBS, announced that it recently paid $11 million in Bitcoin after a cyberattack forced the shutdown of its plants in the U.S., Canada, and Australia. A ransomware attack on Colonial Pipeline lead to the shutdown of gasoline supplies in the eastern U.S. for the better part of a week.

Locally, Heartland Community College in Normal faced a disruptive ransom attack last fall.

Afni, which started in the 1930s as a consumer collections agency, is now a global business process outsourcing firm. Its customer engagement products include call centers. The company has facilities in the U.S. and the Philippines.

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