Appen Limited (ASX:APX), a multilingual AI enablement and machine learning company headquartered in Sydney, issued a report on July 30th (Australian time) that malicious actors had hacked a third-party provider and stolen access to its systems. Appen is listed on the Australian stock market, ASX.
The third-party system was being used on a trial basis and Appen ceased using it immediately. The company believes that the attack was random and not targeted specifically to its repositories, since other companies were also victims of similar incidents. Even though it was determined that the hackers gained access to Appen’s Annotation Platform, which contained customer and crowd names, company names, email addresses, encrypted passwords, IP addresses, and historical login and log off times, and some phone numbers, the IT security team asserts that the incident is limited in nature and not material.
According to the release issued to the Australian Stock Exchange, Appen — which analyzes data for eight of the largest ten technology companies in the world — has not suffered any interruption to its operations and has reported the incident to legal authorities.
The statement affirms that customer AI training data, the core business of the company, is stored separately and there is no evidence that it was stolen. The unauthorized access was detected as soon as it occurred, and Appen took the necessary steps to secure its systems. Relevant clients were contacted and had their passwords and security tokens reset. A cyber forensics firm was hired to assist in the investigation.
According to Dow Jones, Appen shares were up 1.2% at AUD 36.11. After a previous filing announcement before the breach, shares had been up as much as 3%.