Taking security training courses and passing certification exams are common ingredients in the makeup of the vast majority of accomplished cybersecurity and information security professionals. As such, two security incidents last month raised more than just a surprising eyebrow or two within the UK security industry.
The first involved the renown and well respected United States security training company, The SANS Institue, announcing that a successful email phishing attack against one of its employees resulted in 28,000 personal records being stolen. SANS classified this compromise as "consent phishing", namely where an employee is tricked into providing malicious Microsoft Office 365 OAuth applications access to their O365 accounts. In June 2020, Microsoft warned 'consent phishing' scams were targeting remote workers and their cloud services.
The second incident involved British cybersecurity firm NCC Group, after The Register reported NCC marked CREST penetration testing certification exam 'cheat cheats' were posted on Github. El Reg stated the leaked NCC marked document "offered step-by-step guides and walkthroughs of information about the Crest exams. With those who posted the documents claiming that the documents contained a clone of the Crest CRT exam app that helped users to pass the CRT exam in the first attempt." CREST, a globally recognised provider of penetration testing accreditations, conducted their own investigation into the Github post and then suspended their Certified Infrastructure Tester (CCF Inf) and Certified Web Application Tester (CCT App) exams.
Reuters reported British trade minister Liam Fox email account was compromised by Russian hackers through a spear-phishing attack. This led to leaks of sensitive US-UK trade documents in a disinformation campaign designed to influence the outcome of the UK general election in late 2019.
UK foreign exchange firm Travelex is still revelling from the double 2020 whammy of major ransomware outbreak followed by the impact COVID-19, and has managed to stay in business thanks a bailout arranged by their business administrators PWC.
Uber's former Cheif Security Officer has been charged with obstruction of justice in the United States, accused of covering up a massive 57 million record data breach in 2016. Uber eventually admitted paying a hacking group $100,000 (£75,000) ransom to delete the data they had stolen.
The British Dental Association advised its dentist members that their bank account details and correspondence with them were stolen by hackers. A BDA spokeswoman told BBC News it was possible that information about patients was also exposed, but remained vague about the potential context. The cyber breach was likely caused by a hack of the BDA website given it was taken offline for a considerable amount of time after reporting the breach.
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AWARENESS, EDUCATION AND THREAT INTELLIGENCE