Category Archives: Data Breach

0v1ru$ hackers breach FSB contractor SyTech and expose Russian intel projects

SyTech, a contractor for the Federal Security Service of the Russian Federation (FSB) has been hacked, attackers stole data about internal projects.

Attackers have hacked SyTech, a contractor for the Federal Security Service of the Russian Federation (FSB), and exfiltrated data about internal projects.

According to the Russian media, SyTech has been working with FSB since 2009, in particular, they contributed to several projects for FSB unit 71330 and for fellow contractor Quantum. The company earned 40 million rubles ($635,000) from public contracts in 2018. The latest project is the development of Nalog-3 for the Main Scientific Innovation Implementation Center.

“According to the data received, the majority of non-public projects of Sytech were commissioned by military unit No. 71330, which allegedly is part of the 16th directorate of the FSB of Russia.” states the website CrimeRussia.”This unit is engaged in electronic intelligence, experts form the International Center for Defense and Security in Tallinn believe.”

Some of the research projects accessed by the hackers were for Russia’s intelligence service, including one for deanonymizing Tor traffic.

On July 13, a hacker group named 0v1ru$ hacked into SyTech’s Active Directory server then compromised the entire infrastructure of the company, including JIRA instance.

The hackers exfiltrated 7.5TB of data and defaced the website of the company by publishing “yoba face.”

The hackers published images of the company’s servers on Twitter and also shared the data with another hacker crew known as Digital Revolution, that in 2018 breached the FSB contractor Quantum.

FSB contractor hacked

The hackers provided the stolen data to BBC Russia, who verified the presence of other older projects for compromising other network protocols, including Jabber, ED2K, and OpenFT.

“Among the projects of Sytech there is the work on de-anonymization of users of the Tor-network, collection of information about Facebook, MySpace and LinkedIn users, hidden collection of information on the Web, a system for substituting Internet traffic, through which certain users could be redirected to special sites when requested portals from the “black list.” continues CrimeRussia.

“Sytech was also supposed to explore the possibilities of developing a complex of penetration and covert use of resources of peer-to-peer and hybrid networks, network protocols Jabber, OpenFT and ED2K, which were used by darknet users and hackers.

The list of projects shared by BBCRussia includes:

  • Nautilus – a project for tracking the activity of users on the principal social media platforms (such as Facebook, MySpace, and LinkedIn).
  • Nautilus-S – a project for deanonymizing Tor traffic, it leverages on a network of rogue Tor nodes. In January 2014, researchers from Karlstad University in Sweden, presented the results of a four-month study conducted to test Tor network exit nodes for sneaky behavior. They discovered that a not specified Russian entity was eavesdropping nodes at the edge of the Tor network.
  • Reward – a project to covertly penetrate P2P networks.
  • Mentor – a project to spy on email communications managed by Russian companies.
  • Hope/Nadezhda  – a project to analyzed the overall Russian internet and its connections to the global WWW.
  • Tax-3 – a project to allow you to manually remove from the information system of the FTS data of persons under state protection.

Researchers identified 25 malicious servers, 18 of which were located in Russia, and running Tor version 0.2.2.37, the same one detailed in the leaked files.

SyTech took down its website after the hack.

“Website “Siteka” is not available – neither in its previous form, nor in the version with “Yob-face”. When you call the company on the answering machine, the standard message is turned on, in which you are invited to wait for the secretary’s response, but short beeps follow.” concludes BBC Russia.

Pierluigi Paganini

(SecurityAffairs – SyTech, data breach)

The post 0v1ru$ hackers breach FSB contractor SyTech and expose Russian intel projects appeared first on Security Affairs.

Cyber News Rundown: Evite Data Breach

Reading Time: ~ 2 min.

Over 100 Million Accounts Exposed in Evite Breach

More than 100 million users of Evite were exposed after the company’s servers were compromised earlier this year. While the company doesn’t store financial information, plenty of other personally identifiable information was found in the leaked database dump. The initial figures for the breach were thought to be much lower, as another database dump of 10 million Evite users was found on an underground marketplace around the time they discovered the unauthorized access, though that site was shut down soon after.

American Express Suffers Phishing Attack

Many American Express customers recently fell victim to an email phishing attack that used the uncommon tactic of hiding the URL domain when hovering over the hyperlink. The attack itself, which requests the victim open a hyperlink to verify their personal information before re-routing them to a malicious site, was reliably full of spelling and grammar mistakes. The phishing landing page, though, looks nearly identical to the real American Express site and even has a drop-down list to catch multiple types of user accounts.

NHS Worries Over XP Machines

Over five years after Microsoft officially ceased support for Windows XP, the UK government has revealed that there are still over 2,000 XP machines still being used by its National Health Services (NHS). Even after becoming one of the largest targets of the 2017 WannaCry attacks, the NHS has been incredibly slow to roll out both patches and full operating sytem upgrades. While the number of effected systems, the NHS has over 1.4 million computers under their control and is working to get all upgraded to Windows 10.

Google Defends Monitoring of Voice Commands

Following a media leak of over 1,000 voice recordings, Google is being forced to defend their policy of having employees monitor all “OK Google” queries. After receiving the leaked recordings, a news organization in Belgium was able to positively identify several individuals, many of whom were having conversations that shouldn’t have been saved by the Google device in the first place. The company argues that they need language experts to review the queries and correct any accent or language nuances that may be missing from the automated response.

Monroe College Struck with Ransomware

All campuses of Monroe College were affected by a ransomware attack late last week that took down many of their computer systems. The attackers then demanded a ransom of $2 million, though it doesn’t appear that the college will cave to such exorbitant demands. Currently, the college’s systems are still down, but officials have been working to contact affected students and connect them with the proper assistance with finishing any coursework disrupted by the attack.

The post Cyber News Rundown: Evite Data Breach appeared first on Webroot Blog.

4 years after data breach, Slack resets 100,000 users’ passwords

Roughly 100,000 Slack users are getting their password reset and will have to choose a new one. The reason? During the data breach the company suffered in 2015, the attackers have apparently not only accessed a database with user profile information and “irreversibly encrypted” passwords, but have also “inserted code that allowed them to capture plaintext passwords as they were entered by users at the time.” What happened in 2015? Unknown attackers gained access to … More

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Slack resetting passwords for roughly 1% of its users

Slack is resetting passwords for accounts belonging to users that have not secured them after the data breach suffered by the company in 2015.

Slack announced it is resetting passwords for accounts belonging to users that have not secured them after the data breach suffered by the company in 2015.

Slack Enterprise Key Management

“In response to new information about our 2015 security incident (explained here at the time), we are resetting passwords for approximately 1% of Slack accounts.” reads the announcement published by the company.

“This announcement affects you only if you

  • created your account before March 2015,
  • AND have not changed your password since,
  • AND your account does not require logging in via a single-sign-on (SSO) provider.

In March 2015, Slack detected unauthorized access to a database containing details of users’ accounts, including usernames, email addresses, hashed passwords, phone numbers and Skype IDs.

The hackers also injected malicious code in the systems of the company to steal plaintext passwords as they were entered by Slack users. No financial or payment information was accessed or compromised in this attack.

Immediately after the discovery of the data breach, Slack reset the passwords for a limited number of users impacted by the incident. The company also recommended remaining users to change the password and enable 2FA.

Recently Slack discovered through its bug bounty program that credentials of other users might have been compromised. According to the company, attackers could have obtained them via malware or a third-party hack.

“We were recently contacted through our bug bounty program with information about potentially compromised Slack credentials. These types of reports are fairly routine and usually the result of malware or password re-use between services, which we believed to be the case here.” continues the announcement. “We immediately confirmed that a portion of the email addresses and password combinations were valid, reset those passwords, and explained our actions to the affected users.”

Slack has reset the passwords of these users and sent them notifications.

“We were recently notified that your sign-in credentials (email address and password) for your xxxxx account on xxxxxx.slack.com were discovered as being in the possession of an unauthorized individual.” reads the notification. “This may be the result of malware installed on a computer you’ve used to sign in to Slack or your credentials being reused from a previous breach of a third party, such as those listed on sites like haveibeenpwned.com.”

Slack is still investigating the latest incident and will share more information after it will be completed.

Pierluigi Paganini

(SecurityAffairs – hacking, data breach)

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36TB Data Breach: The Culprit, Lenovo’s Obsolete Iomega NAS

The probability that Lenovo has earned the infamous record for becoming a subject of the world’s biggest data breach in history is shaping-up fast. The culprit? The still online legacy Iomega storage system harboring a security flaw but still being used as an internal NAS drive that was left within the infrastructure of Lenovo for many months, and were tapped by an external party. Iomega used to be a famous external storage company incorporated in 1980, which was famous for being a trailblazer of early high capacity devices such as the Zip and Jaz disc in the late ‘90s. It merged with Lenovo, creating a subsidiary, a shadow of its former self now known as LenovoEMC.

Vertical Structure, a penetration testing service firm, disclosed the information in their special blog article titled: “Best Practices in Identifying and Remediating Vulnerabilities”. An estimated 13,000 LenovoEMC spreadsheet files were indexed in the data breach, reaching a total size of 36TB were leaked by unknown parties. Yes, you read it right, 36 Terabytes worth of spreadsheets, with a “T”, apparently containing sensitive personal information, including financially sensitive data.

Lenovo confirmed the data breach in their official press release posted in their support page. The bug in the legacy Iomega storage NAS documented as CVE-2019-6160. “A vulnerability in Iomega and LenovoEMC NAS products could allow an unauthenticated user to access files on NAS shares via the API. Update to the firmware level (or later) described for your system in the Product Impact section.If it is not feasible to update the firmware immediately, partial protection can be achieved by removing any public shares and using the device only on trusted networks,” explained LenovoEMC.

The irony with Lenovo’s own press statement is the company itself is the primary victim of its own hardware’s security flaw. During the period of the leak incident, around 5,114 of these legacy vulnerable NAS devices were still in full operations within the network of Lenovo. The sorry state of using these end-of-life devices in daily operations of the company is serious being taken as irresponsible use of equipment from the standpoint of IT security professionals. That means, these devices though operational inside the Lenovo’s own network are actually not supported in any way by its subsidiary LenovoEMC, they were left operating without the presence of any bug fixing process. The primary difference between a support product compared to a discontinued one is the latter’s firmware is no longer patched to fix security flaws.

Lenovo’s professional approach to vulnerability disclosure offers a good lesson for other organizations who experience similar challenges. Not only did they have a clearly stated vulnerability disclosure policy on their site with contact information, but they responded quickly and worked with WhiteHat and Vertical Structure to understand the nature of the problem and quickly resolve it,” emphasized Vertical Structure.

The most conflicting advice that Lenovo provided its users about how to handle the CVE issue was to update the firmware. Such advice does not apply for Iomega NAS drives that already reached its life cycle. It is not yet clear if Lenovo has already shutdown the NAS devices that were involved in the data breach incident.

Also Read,

The Biggest and Most Affected Data Breach

Data Breach Hits Desjardins, 2.7 Million People Affected

Data Breaches in Healthcare Comes From Within

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Sprint Data Breach Due To Samsung.com Bug Revealed

U.S. telecom giant, Sprint has recently revealed that a certain number of Sprint customer accounts were taken over by unauthorized users using a loophole in Samsung.com’s “add a line” feature. The company disclosed this information as per their June 22 internal report and the following information of affected users are now in the hands of unknown personalities:

  • Full name
  • Billing address
  • Subscriber ID
  • Account creation date
  • Account number
  • Phone number
  • Device ID
  • Device Type
  • Monthly recurring charges
  • Upgrade eligibility
  • Add-on services

Even with a huge laundry list of information was stolen, Sprint remains calm as the telecom giant claims that the information lost to the Samsung.com breach was not substantial enough to for identity theft to thrive. Sprint on their part issued a force reset of their customer’s PIN in order to lessen the chance of further security breaches. The forced PIN change was initiated on June 25, three full days after the discovery of the incident.

“Sprint has taken appropriate action to secure your account from unauthorized access and has not identified any fraudulent activity associated with your account at this time. Sprint re-secured your account on June 25, 2019. We apologize for the inconvenience that this may cause you. Please be assured that the privacy of your personal information is important to us. Please contact Sprint at 1-888-211-4727 if you have any questions or concerns regarding this matter,” explained Sprint in its official press release.

The company urges all its affected customers to visit www.indentitytheft.gov, a website operated by the U.S. Federal Trade Commission. Sprint claims that the preventive and security measures provided by the FTC will be very helpful for customers that continue to worry about the data breach incident. As of this writing, Sprint has not disclosed the details on what actually happened to Samsung.com’s “add a line” feature, and how it caused Sprint customers to get hacked through the use of the website.

On their part, Samsung claims that they keep their systems and website secure, and no Samsung customer info from their systems was leaked to the outside world. “We recently detected fraudulent attempts to access Sprint user account information via Samsung.com, using Sprint login credentials that were not obtained from Samsung. We deployed measures to prevent further attempts of this kind on Samsung.com and no Samsung user account information was accessed as part of these attempts,” said a Samsung spokesperson.

Also Read;

Five Important Things about Data Security

Data Breaches have become a common threat in online transactions

Beware of Fake Samsung Firmware Update App

 

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Canadian Credit Union Desjardins Data Breached by Employee

Canadian financial institution Desjardins reported a data breach that compromised the personal information of 2.7 million customers and 173,000 businesses.

The compromised data included names, addresses, birthdates, social insurance numbers, email addresses and transaction histories. The breach was reportedly the result of employee misconduct. Investigators believe an employee sold the data on the dark web. Evidence of fraudulent credit cards opened in customer names has been reported.

“This is a very serious situation,” said the Autorité des marchés financiers (AMF), an organization responsible for financial regulation in Québec in a statement.

“The AMF is satisfied with the actions taken to date by Desjardins Group to protect the interests and assets of its members. It remains confident that the institution’s officers have handled the situation with due rigour, transparency and speed and that the cooperation provided to law enforcement is full and complete,” it added.

Desjardins and its CEO were criticized following complaints by affected customers that registration for the five years of free credit monitoring offered by the company was difficult, with reports of crashed websites, long wait times on the phone, and limited support in French. After finding that only 13% of customers had signed up for the service, Desjardins expanded the service, offering lifelong identity theft protection for all of its clients, including those unaffected by the breach.

The Office of the Privacy Commissioner and the Québec Access to Information Commission have announced a joint investigation into the breach to determine if Desjardin was compliant with consumer protection regulations at the provincial and federal levels.

Read more about the story here.

The post Canadian Credit Union Desjardins Data Breached by Employee appeared first on Adam Levin.

Sprint revealed that hackers compromised some customer accounts via Samsung site

US telecommunications company Sprint revealed that hackers compromised an unknown number of customer accounts via the Samsung.com “add a line” website.

The mobile network operator Sprint disclosed a security breach, the company revealed that hackers compromised an unknown number of customer accounts via the Samsung.com “add a line” website.

“On June 22, Sprint was informed of unauthorized access to your Sprint account using your account credentials via the Samsung.com “add a line” website.” reads a letter sent to the customers by the company. “We take this matter, and all matters involving Sprint customer’s privacy, very seriously.”

The information exposed in the data breach includes the phone number, device type, device ID, monthly recurring charges, subscriber ID, account number, account creation date, eligibility, first and last name, billing address, and add-on services.

Sprint us mobile

According to the company, exposed data don’t expose customers to a substantial risk of fraud or identity theft, but in my humble opinion, such kind of information could be used for several malicious purposes.

In response to the incident, on June 25 the mobile network operator reset PIN codes of its users.

The US telecommunications company did not reveal the number of affected customers.

Sprint recommends affected clients to take all the precautionary steps necessary to prevent identity theft and other fraudulent activities as recommended by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC):

As a precautionary measure, we recommend that you take the preventative measures that are recommended by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to help protect you from fraud and identity theft.” concludes the letter. “These preventative measures are included at the end of this letter. You may review this information on the FTC’s website at www.ftc.gov/idtheft and www.IdentityTheft.govor contact the FTC directly by phone at 1-877-438-4338 or by mail at 600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20580.”

Pierluigi Paganini

(SecurityAffairs – Sprint, data breach)

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Mysterious hackers steal data of over 70% of Bulgarians

Hackers stole data of millions of Bulgarians, and sent it to local media, According to the media the source could be the National Revenue Agency.

Hackers have exfiltrated data from a Bulgarian government system, likely the National Revenue Agency (NRA), and have shared it with the local media.

The hackers have stolen the personal details of millions of Bulgarians and sent to the local newspaper download links for the archives containing them.

“The link was sent by anonymous hackers via Russian mail servers on Monday to the Bulgarian media. The array of 57 folders contains thousands of files that they claim to be from the Treasury’s servers, probably.” reads the Monitor website.

The National Revenue Agency is investigating the incident and verifying the authenticity of the data.

“The NRA and the specialized bodies of the Ministry of the Interior and the State Agency for National Security (SANS) check the potential vulnerability of the National Revenue Agency’s computer system.” reads a statement published by the NRA.

“Earlier today, emails of certain media have been sent a link to download files allegedly belonging to the Bulgarian Ministry of Finance. We are currently verifying whether the data is real.”

The hackers claim to have breached Treasury’s servers and have exfiltrated data from more than 110 databases. More than 5 million Bulgarian and foreign citizens are affected, consider that the country has a population composed of 7 million people.

“Your government is slow to develop, your state of cybersecurity is parodyous,” wrote the hackers.

The hacker bragged about stealing 110 databases from NRA’s network, totaling nearly 21 GB. The hacker only shared 57 databases, comprising 11GB of data out of 21 aggregate data with local news outlets but promised to release the rest in the coming days.

“Perhaps the biggest leak of personal data in Bulgaria. That’s how the 57-folder contains more than a thousand files that anonymous hackers sent to Bulgarian media on Monday.” reported the Capital website. “Upon reviewing the information, Capital has opened databases with more than 1 million rows containing PINs, names, addresses, and even earnings.”

Most of the data is very old, in some cases, information is dated back as far as 2007.

Hackers also leaked information from Department Civil Registration and Administrative Services (GRAO), Bulgaria’s customs agency, the National Health Insurance Fund (NZOK), and data from the Bulgarian Employment Agency (AZ).

The email was sent by an email address belonging to the Russian service Yandex.ru. The message sent to local media by hackers ends with a quote by WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange and calls for his release.

“Your government is stupid. Your is a parody.” closes the email.

Immediately after the leak of the data, the Democratic Bulgaria opposition party demanded the resignation of Finance Minister Vladislav Goranov.

It seems that cyber security for Bulgarian government services is very poor, tt the end of June, Bulgarian police arrested the IT expert Petko Petrov after he publicly demonstrated a security vulnerability in the kindergarten software used by local kindergartens.

Pierluigi Paganini

(SecurityAffairs – Bulgarians, hacking)

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Marriott faces £99.2 million fine after hack exposed 393 million hotel guest records

The UK’s Information Commissioner’s Office (IOC) has announced its intention to fine the US hotel group Marriott International £99.2 million (US $123 million) for a data breach that exposed the personal details of hundreds of millions of guests.

Read more in my article on the Hot for Security blog.

British Airways Faces Record GDPR Fine

The 2018 data breach of British Airways may prove to be a record-breaking data compromise with the announcement of a newly proposed $230 million fine.

The U.K. Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) proposed the fine under the European Union General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) following the compromise of over 500,000 customers, including their login information, credit card numbers, and addresses. The fine is equal to 1.5% of British Airways total 2017 revenue, and represents the largest GDPR penalty to date.

While British Airways alerted the ICO within the 72-hour mandatory disclosure period for data breaches, the company was accused of poor internal cybersecurity and lax protections for customer data on its website and mobile app.

“When an organization fails to protect [customer data] from loss, damage or theft, it is more than an inconvenience. The law is clear: When you are entrusted with personal data, you must look after it. Those that don’t will face scrutiny from my office to check they have taken appropriate steps to protect fundamental privacy rights,” said UK information commissioner Elizabeth Denham.

“The ICO did what data protection and other regulatory authorities usually do–pick a large and easy target, make it an example, and hope everyone else gets in line. The fact that the fine was nearly 1.5% of BA’s global turnover speaks volumes about the willingness of the ICO to push the limits of their enforcement powers,” said CyberScout Global Privacy Officer Eduard Goodman.

“The fine being imposed by the UK ICO demonstrates that security failures are taken very seriously and organizations need to prioritize data protection, security, and privacy – or pay the price. While the largest fines are saved for those organizations particularly reckless with marketing efforts, consent and other core issues, ICO is signaling zero-tolerance for the failure to safeguard private information assets,” Goodman added.

The data breach was the result of a skimming attack by Magecart, a hacking group allegedly responsible for numerous compromised e-commerce sites, including Ticketmaster and Newegg.

British Airways is expected to contest the fine.

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National Trade Association Discloses Data Breach Tied to Alleged Phishing Attack

A national trade association has disclosed a data breach that allegedly took place following a successful phishing attack. On 3 July, the American Land Title Association (ALTA) said that the security incident affected title and settlement company usernames and passwords. It also noted that it first learned about the data breach on social media. As […]… Read More

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British Airways faces record £183 million GDPR fine after data breach

British Airways is facing a record fine of £183 million, after its systems were breached by hackers last year and the personal and payment card information of around 500,000 customers were stolen.

Read more about what you need to know in my article on the Tripwire State of Security blog.

Compromise by Proxy? Why You Should Be Losing Sleep Tonight

If you’ve heard of the medical bill collector American Medical Collections Agency (AMCA), it’s probably not because you saw an ad on TV. Most likely you heard about its supernova-level mismanagement of cybersecurity, or you read that, as a consequence, the company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection,

The AMCA breach affected as many as 20 million consumers. The situation at this third- and sometimes fourth-party debt collection agency was ongoing. It affected at least five different labs: Quest Diagnostics, LabCorp, BioReference Laboratories, Carecentrix, and Sunrise Laboratories. The companies used AMCA as their customer bill payment portal.

During the eight months the vulnerability was unaddressed by AMCA, hackers had access to the company’s online payment page, and with that a cornucopia of sensitive personally identifiable information that included financial data, Social Security numbers, and, in one case, medical information.

Lamentable, Avoidable, Illegal and Expensive

This epic cybersecurity fail was avoidable. The AMCA breach was not only a failure to protect the millions of consumers whose data was exposed. It may be the result of AMCA’s failure to comply with HIPAA legislation.

We need to get a little granular here. As a third-party vendor to a HIPAA covered entity, AMCA would almost certainly be subject to the requirements of the HIPAA Privacy, Security, Enforcement, and Breach Notification Rules. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services representative I contacted by email, a medical bill collector is a business associate if it receives, creates, maintains, or transmits protected health information on behalf of the covered entity for a covered function, such as seeking to obtain payment for a medical bill. Among many requirements, such business associates are directly liable for “failure to provide breach notification to a covered entity or another business associate” and “failure to take reasonable steps to address a material breach or violation of the subcontractor’s business associate agreement.”

It is unclear whether AMCA failed to take reasonable steps to address and report the breach. The AMCA spokesperson declined to comment on this story, instead sending a link to the company’s website. That said, breaches come in all shapes and sizes. Some are more avoidable than others. And breach response varies even more, with ever more divergent degrees of competency.

There are many enterprise-level solutions out there to minimize the risk of such catastrophic cybersecurity events, but they aren’t available to a company that doesn’t know what it doesn’t know. In this regard, knowledge of cyber risks and cyber defense are fungible assets.

The bottom line tells the tale best. AMCA needed to file for bankruptcy protection. While I am not in a position to say exactly why this was the case, last year’s average per record cost, according to IBM’s “2018 Cost of Data Breach Study” was $157, with the average total cost to a company coming in at $4.24 million.

In other words, getting cyber wrong can represent an extinction-level event for many organizations.

The Anatomy of Liability

The AMCA breach was discovered by Gemini Advisory analysts at the end of February 2019. A database described “USA/DOB/SSN” had been posted for purchase on the dark web. On March 1, Gemini Advisory attempted to notify AMCA, and received no response. Multiple phone messages were left regarding the breach. Still, there was no response. Gemini Advisory then notified law enforcement. AMCA did not disable their payment portal until April 8.

The AMCA breach is not an isolated incident for third-party vendors in the healthcare industry. According to a recent report cited by a letter from Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.) to Quest Diagnostics, 20 percent of data breaches in the healthcare sector in 2018 were traced to third-party vendors. Additionally, about 56 percent of provider organizations have experienced a third-party breach.

It would follow here that the vetting process a company implements in selecting third party vendors would be fully evolved by now with industry standard approaches to cybersecurity and a host of other concerns and considerations. Sadly, many companies do not have specific policies regarding the cybersecurity requirements of subcontracted entities, much less an established path to approval that assures best cyber practices are understood and practiced throughout an organization’s data ecosystem.

When it comes to debt collection, there seems to be a more pervasive lack of standards. The debt collection industry’s lobbying organization–the Association of Credit and Collection Professionals, or ACA International–offers no services or outreach that resemble an information sharing and analysis center, or ISAC. According to the ACA representative I contacted, the ACA is not in the practice of collecting, analyzing or sharing cyber threat information. They mostly seem to lobby for an impediment-free legislative environment.

Meanwhile, the ISAC-free environment matters because hackers thrive in a low-information environment. The same or similar attack is much easier to perpetrate on multiple debt collection agencies if they have no idea there’s a threat out there. Knowing what to look for, and/or being prepared for the attack du jour is among the most powerful cyber tools. While ACA International does provide compliance guidelines as well as two opt-in data security and privacy programs in their ongoing educational seminars, it’s all passive. No one has to do anything. Cybersecurity is not a spectator sport. It is an ongoing activity that must evolve as urgently and persistently as the threats it addresses.

Vetting, Adulting: Take Your Pick

It’s time to grow up. With the lack of specific federal regulations on the cybersecurity practices of third-party vendors, the companies that subcontract with them have to self-police and develop effective vetting processes. When asked if they vetted third-party vendors–or the companies they in turn subcontract–Quest Diagnostics declined to provide me with an answer. The LabCorp response to my questions on this score were similarly unilluminating.

It should go without saying that data breaches and compromises caused by third-party subcontractors and business associates are not unique to the healthcare sector. U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials issued a statement on Monday that photos of traveler’s faces and license plates had been compromised due to a “malicious cyberattack.” The data breach originated from a subcontractor network.

The prevalence of data breaches that originate from third-parties has long been an open secret, and lawmakers are increasingly demanding answers. Sens. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.), Cory Booker (D-N.J) and Mark R. Warner (D-Va.) sent letters asking the testing labs what they did to vet the security measures of AMCA, and inquiring how the breach went unnoticed for so long. They also asked what cybersecurity measures they had at the time, and if all affected parties had been reported. Fair questions all.

If you need a more institutional take, Moody’s Investor Service designated the AMCA breach a credit negative for both Quest Diagnostics and LabCorp, and predicted the breach could result in “new regulations and requirements” regarding how U.S. companies evaluate their vendors before selecting them. We can hope.

The AMCA breach is merely the latest manifestation of the perils of hiring a third-party subcontractor insufficiently cyber-safe for this or that assignment. The lab testing companies may have had cybersecurity best practices in place, but they were only as secure as their least-protected third-party vendor. The frequency of data breaches is drastically rising, and companies that fail to operate within a cybersecurity framework when hiring third-party business associates may well find themselves on the bankruptcy-side of a catastrophic breach.

To manifest the wisdom of Yogi Berra, the only solution here is to have a solution. If you don’t have one, it’s time to find one, or practice your vetting skills on hiring a third party to help you get your cyber game where it needs to be to survive the third certainty in life: Breach happens. Survival is a skill.

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Prison Time for Former Equifax Executive

The former CIO of Equifax has been sentenced to prison for selling his stock in the company before news of its 2017 data breach was publicly announced.

Jun Ying, the former Chief Information Office of Equifax U.S. Information Solutions, sold his shares in the company for over $950,000 ten days before the company admitted that its data had been accessed by hackers. He was sentenced to four months in prison and ordered to pay roughly $170,000 in fines and restitution.  

“Ying thought of his own financial gain before the millions of people exposed in this data breach even knew they were victims,” said U.S. Attorney Byung J. Pak.

The Equifax data breach compromised the names, Social Security numbers, birthdates, and addresses of over 145 million Americans. Ying is the second employee of the company to be found guilty of insider trading related to the incident. 

According to reports, Ying decided to sell his shares after researching the impact of the 2015 data breach of rival company Experian on its stock prices.

Read the U.S. Department of Justice’s statement on the case here.

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Cyber News Rundown: GPS Vulnerabilities in Tesla Vehicles

Reading Time: ~ 2 min.

Multiple Tesla Models Vulnerable to GPS Attacks

Though it’s not the only manufacturer to offer GPS navigation in their vehicles, Tesla has once again suffered an attack on their GPS autopilot features. These attacks were able to trick the car into thinking it had arrived at an off-ramp more than two miles early, causing it to start to merge and eventually turn off the road entirely, even with a driver attempting to stop the action. Using off-the-shelf products, the test conductors were able to gain control of Tesla’s GPS in less than a minute.

Oregon DHS Successfully Phished

The personally identifiable information for at least 645,000 Oregon Department of Human Services (DHS) patients was illicitly accessed after a successful phishing attack on nine DHS employees. The attack allowed the hackers to obtain 2 million emails from the accounts, which contained everything from names and birthdates to social security numbers and confidential health information. Fortunately, the DHS issued a password reset shortly after the initial breach that stopped the attackers from getting any further and began contacting potential victims of the attack.

IP and Computer Blacklisting in New Ryuk Variant

The latest variant of the Ryuk ransomware includes an IP blacklist and a computer name check prior to beginning encryption. The IPs and computer name strings were likely implemented to stop any encryption of Russian computer systems. After these checks, the ransomware continues as normal using .RYK as the appended file extension and a ransom note that points victims to make payments to one of two proton mail accounts.

EatStreet Ordering Services Breached

A data breach is affecting the food ordering service EatStreet and possibly all of its 15,000 partnered restaurants. Payment card information for millions of customers using the app, along with some banking information for the 15,000 business partners, is believed to have been compromised in the breach. Though EatStreet quickly began improving their security and implementing multi-factor authentication following the breach, the damage was already done.

Fake System Cleaners on the Rise

While phony system cleaner apps have been common for many years, a recent study shows that user numbers for these apps has doubled from the same time last year to nearly 1.5 million. These apps often appear innocent and helpful at the outset, while others have begun taking an outright malicious approach. To make matters worse, these apps are commonly installed to fix the very issues they later create by slowing the computer down and causing annoying popups. 

The post Cyber News Rundown: GPS Vulnerabilities in Tesla Vehicles appeared first on Webroot Blog.

How organisations can effectively manage, detect and respond to a data breach?

Guest article by Andy Pearch, Head of IA Services at CORVID

78% of businesses cite cyber security as a high priority for their organisation’s senior management. Whilst it is encouraging that this figure has risen year on year, generating awareness of cyber security is only one part of the issue. The next step for organisations to take is not only understanding, but intelligently acting on the risks presented. Despite the heightened awareness, many organisations are still focusing on mitigating assumed risks, rather than real risks, without a robust security strategy in place.

Whilst perimeter security is a key part of any organisation’s security posture, the fact is that it cannot work in isolation. Data breaches are now commonplace and largely regarded as inevitable, and the rise of new technologies means that today’s threats have increased in sophistication. As Andy Pearch, Head of IA Services at CORVID, explains, safeguarding data integrity, confidentiality and availability should be fundamental to all cyber security strategies. After all, it is the speed with which a breach is detected and the effectiveness with which it is remediated that will provide the most value – this can be achieved with a strategic Managed Detection and Response solution.

Unidentified attacks The Government’s Cyber Security Breaches Survey 2019 revealed that in the last 12 months alone, almost one third of UK businesses identified cyber security breaches or attacks. What’s more, the research also showed that just under half of these companies identified at least one breach or attack per month. While these figures should be enough to make a business refocus its strategic security thinking, it is the use of the word ‘identified’ that is significant: many more attacks could have occurred, but not yet been discovered.

Indeed, global figures reveal that the median dwell time – the time a criminal can be on a company’s network undetected – is over 100 days. And in many cases, the breach is not revealed by the security team itself; it is a call from a supplier, a customer or business partner that brings the problem to light, typically following the receipt of a diversion fraud email requesting, for example, that future payments should be sent to a different bank account.

These breaches not only have the ability to undermine business relationships, but in some cases, can also incur significant financial liability. These frauds usually follow one of two forms: either impersonation, where a criminal masquerades as the business using a very similar domain name and email address, or following a successful compromise, the email comes from the company’s own system. It is the latter case that raises the issue of liability for any financial losses a business partner may have suffered.

Asking the tough questions
Alongside phishing attacks, this approach to cyber attacks completely bypasses the traditional cyber security methods, such as anti-virus (AV) software and firewalls, upon which so many companies still rely. Indeed, while 80% of businesses cite phishing attacks as the cause of breach, 28% confirm the cause was the impersonation of an organisation in emails or online. Only 27% cite viruses, spyware or malware, including ransomware attacks, as the root cause of the breach.

Many companies still depend on perimeter security, and for those that do, it is time to ask some serious questions. Firstly, can you be 100% confident that your business has not been compromised? How would you know if the attacker has not used malware or a virus that would be picked up by the perimeter defences? Secondly, even when a compromise is identified, many companies aren’t sure what the next steps should be. If a supplier makes the call to reveal the business has been compromised, can you confidently identify where that occurred? What part of the business has been affected? What is the primary goal of the attack? Is the attacker only leveraging a compromised email system to defraud customers, or aiming to gain intellectual property or personal data?

The GDPR has demonstrated that the risk associated with a cyber attack is not only financial, as hackers are also actively seeking to access personal information. Security plans, therefore, must also consider data confidentiality, integrity and availability. But it is also essential for organisations to accept that protection is not a viable option given today’s threat landscape: a fundamental shift in security thinking is required. When hackers are using the same tactics and tools as genuine users, preventing these attacks is impossible. Rapid detection and remediation must be the priority.

Removing the burden
Managed Detection and Response (MDR) enables an organisation to spot the unusual activity that indicates a potential breach. For example, if a user is accessing files they would never usually open or view, sending unexpected emails or reaching out to a new domain, such activity should prompt a review. The problem for most companies, however, is they lack not only the tools to detect this activity but also the time and skills to analyse whether it is a breach or actually a false positive.

A managed approach not only takes the burden away from the business, but also enables every company to benefit from the pool of knowledge gathered by detecting and remediating attacks on businesses across the board. With MDR, every incident detected is investigated and, if it’s a breach, managed. That means shutting down the attack’s communication channel to prevent the adversary communicating with the compromised host, and identifying any compromised assets – this can then either be remediated in-house, if preferred, or as part of the MDR service.

Information relating to the mode of attack is also collected. This timely, actionable intelligence is immediately applied to the MDR service, creating either a prevention or detection technique to minimise the chance of this approach succeeding again. Because of this, the speed with which attacks can now be detected is compelling: whilst the average dwell time has continued to decrease in recent years, it is now entirely possible for unknown malware to be detected and nullified within the hour.

Reflect and act
The threat landscape is continuously evolving – it’s important for organisations to recognise this and match security strategies to the true level of risk. What’s more, whilst the increased commitment to security at a Board level is encouraged, organisations cannot equate expenditure with effectiveness.

Organisations must reflect and consider not only the consequences of data loss, but of integrity and availability too. Security strategies can no longer rely on users not making mistakes; when a breach occurs, an organisation must know what happened.

Security strategies cannot afford to stand still. With the rise in phishing and diversion fraud, it is not enough for organisations to simply lock down the perimeter. Companies cannot prevent all attacks, but when a compromise occurs, it is essential to understand how, when and why the attack succeeded so the appropriate response can be determined, and learnings can be applied for the future. It is only with this process in place that organisations can safeguard their business, data and reputation.

Cyber News Rundown: Radiohead Hit by Ransomware Hack

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Radiohead Refuses Ransom, Releases Stolen Tracks

The band Radiohead recently fell victim to a hack in which 18 hours of previously unreleased sessions were ransomed for $150,000. Rather than pay the ludicrous fee, the band instead opted to release the tracks through Bandcamp for a donation to charity. The unreleased sessions were stored as archived mini discs the band created during the years surrounding their third album, “OK Computer.”

US Border Protection Breached by Contractor

A subcontractor for the US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agency is under scrutiny after it was revealed that they had illicitly transferred thousands of images of both license plates and travelers that had crossed the US/Mexico border in the last month. In doing so, the subcontractor broke several mandatory security policies written into a legal contract. While there is no sign of the images leaking onto the dark web, there is very little redress for the exposed travelers without proving actual harm.

Billions of Spam Emails Sent Everyday

The latest industry report on spam emails revealed that around 3.4 billion fake/spam emails are distributed across the globe each day. More worrisome is that the majority of these emails originate in the US and regularly target US-based industries. While many industries have improved security measures, larger enterprises have struggled to implement strong protection for their entire staff.

Ransomware Hits Washington Food Bank

The Auburn Food Bank in the State of Washington recently fell victim to a ransomware attack that encrypted all but one of their computers, which was isolated from the internal network. Instead of paying the ransom, the nonprofit chose to wipe all computers, including their email server, and begin rebuilding from scratch. The ransomware variant has been claimed to be GlobeImposter 2.0, which requires the victim to contact the attacker to determine the ransom demanded.

Retro Game Site Breached

The account information was leaked for over 1 million users of EmuParadise, a retro gaming site that hosts all things gaming related. The breach, which took place in April of 2018, affected 1.1 million IP and email addresses, many of which were found in previous data breaches. It is still unclear how the breach actually took place, though given the use of salted MD5 hashes for storing user data it’s clear EmuParadise could have done more to properly secure their users information.

The post Cyber News Rundown: Radiohead Hit by Ransomware Hack appeared first on Webroot Blog.

Cyber News Rundown: Medical Testing Service Data Breach

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Quest Diagnostics Customers Affected by Third-Party Breach

The medical testing organization Quest Diagnostics has fallen victim to a third-party data breach that could affect nearly 12 million of their patients. AMCA, a collections agency that works with Quest Diagnostics, noticed unauthorized access to their systems over an eight-month period from August of last year through March 2019. The majority of data targeted were Social Security Numbers and other financial documents, rather than patient’s health records. The market offers a premium for such data.

Adware Installed by Millions of Android Users

Until recently, there were over 230 apps on the Google Play store that had been compromised by a malicious plugin that forced out-of-app advertisements on unsuspecting victims. Globally, over 440 million individuals have installed at least one of these compromised applications and have been affected by overly-aggressive advertisements. While this SDK has been used legitimately for nearly a year, sometime during 2018 the plugin began performing increasingly malicious behaviors, until other developers caught on and began updating their own applications to remove the plugin. 

Chinese Database Exposes Millions of Records

A database belonging to FMC Consulting, a headhunting firm based in China, was recently found by researchers to be publicly available. Among the records are resumes and personally identifiable information for millions of individuals, as well as company data with thousands of recorded messages and emails. Unfortunately for anyone whose information is contained within this database, in the two weeks since being notified of the breach FMC has yet acknowledge the breach or take steps to secure it.

Restaurant Payment Systems Infected

Customer who’ve patronized either Checkers or Rally’s restaurants in recent months are being urged to monitor their credit cards after the chain announced that they discovered card stealing malware on their internal systems. While not all restaurant locations were affected, the company is still working to determine the extent of the compromised payment card systems and has offered credit monitoring services to customers.

University of Chicago Medicine Server Found Online

Researchers have found a server belonging to University of Chicago Medicine with personal information belonging to more than 1.6 million current and past donors. The data includes names, addresses, and even marital and financial information for each donor. Fortunately, the researcher was quick to inform the university of the unsecured ElasticSearch server and it was taken down within 48 hours.

The post Cyber News Rundown: Medical Testing Service Data Breach appeared first on Webroot Blog.

4 Tips to Protect Your Information During Medical Data Breaches

As the companies we trust with our data become more digital, it’s important for users to realize how this affects their own cybersecurity. Take your medical care provider, for instance. You walk into a doctor’s office and fill out a form on a clipboard. This information is then transferred to a computer where a patient Electronic Health Record is created or added to. We trust that our healthcare provider has taken the proper precautions to safely store this data. Unfortunately, medical data breaches are on the rise with a 70% increase over the past seven years. In fact, medical testing company LabCorp just announced that it experienced a breach affecting approximately 7.7 million customers.

How exactly did this breach occur? The information was exposed as a result of an issue with a third-party billing collections vendor, American Medical Collection Agency (AMCA). The information exposed includes names, addresses, birth dates, balance information, and credit card or bank account information provided by customers to AMCA. This breach comes just a few days after Quest Diagnostics, another company who worked with AMCA, announced that they too experienced a breach affecting 11.9 million users.

Luckily, LabCorp stated that they do not store or maintain Social Security numbers and insurance information for their customers. Additionally, the company provided no ordered test, lab results, or diagnostic information to AMCA. LabCorp stated that they intend to provide 200,000 affected users with more specific information regarding the breach and offer them with identity protection and credit monitoring services for two years. And after receiving information on the possible security compromise, AMCA took down its web payments page and hired an external forensics firm to investigate the situation.

Medical data is essentially nonperishable in nature, making it extremely valuable to cybercrooks. It turns out that quite a few security vulnerabilities exist in the healthcare industry, such as unencrypted traffic between servers, the ability to create admin accounts remotely, and disclosure of private information. These types of vulnerabilities could allow cybercriminals to access healthcare systems, as our McAfee Labs researchers discovered. If someone with malicious intent did access the system, they would have the ability to permanently alter medical images, use medical research data for extortion, and more.

Cybercriminals are constantly pivoting their tactics and changing their targets in order to best complete their schemes. As it turns out, medical data has become a hot commodity for cybercrooks. According to the McAfee Labs Threats Report from March 2018, the healthcare sector has experienced a 210% increase in publicly disclosed security incidents from 2016 to 2017. The McAfee Advanced Threat Research Team concluded that many of the incidents were caused by failures to comply with security best practices or to address vulnerabilities in medical software.

While medical care providers should do all that they can to ensure the security of their patients, there are steps users can take to help maintain their privacy. If you think your personal or financial information might be affected by the recent breaches, check out the following tips to help keep your personal data secure:

  • Place a fraud alert.If you suspect that your data might have been compromised, place a fraud alert on your credit. This not only ensures that any new or recent requests undergo scrutiny, but also allows you to have extra copies of your credit report so you can check for suspicious activity.
  • Freeze your credit.Freezing your credit will make it impossible for criminals to take out loans or open up new accounts in your name. To do this effectively, you will need to freeze your credit at each of the three major credit-reporting agencies (Equifax, TransUnion, and Experian).
  • Consider using identity theft protection.A solution like McAfee Identify Theft Protection will help you to monitor your accounts, alert you of any suspicious activity, and help you to regain any losses in case something goes wrong.
  • Be vigilant about checking your accounts.If you suspect that your personal data has been compromised, frequently check your bank account and credit activity. Many banks and credit card companies offer free alerts that notify you via email or text messages when new purchases are made, if there’s an unusual charge, or when your account balance drops to a certain level. This will help you stop fraudulent activity in its tracks.

And, of course, to stay updated on all of the latest consumer and mobile security threats, follow me and @McAfee_Home on Twitter, listen to our podcast Hackable?, and ‘Like’ us on Facebook.

The post 4 Tips to Protect Your Information During Medical Data Breaches appeared first on McAfee Blogs.

Cyber News Rundown: Popular News Site Breached

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News Site Suffers Data Breach

Flipboard, a news aggregation site, recently revealed that it’s been the victim of a data breach that could affect many of their more than 100 million active users. Digital tokens were among the compromised data, which could give the attackers further access to other sites, though Flipboard promptly removed or replaced them. At least two separate breaches have been reported by Flipboard, with one occurring in the middle of 2018 and the other in April of this year. Both allowed the attackers nearly unlimited access to databases containing a wealth of user data.

Keylogger Targets Multiple Industries

At least two separate campaigns have been found to be sending malicious emails to industry-leading companies in several different areas of business. Hidden within these emails are two variants of the HawkEye keylogger that perform various malicious activities beyond simply stealing keystrokes from the infected device. By acting as a loader, HawkEye can install additional malware and even contains a script to relaunch itself in case of a system reboot.

Australian Teen Hacks Apple

A teen from Australia was recently in court to plead guilty to two separate hacks on Apple, which he conducted in hopes of gaining a job with the company. While Apple has since confirmed that no internal or customer data was breached, they have chosen leniency after his lawyer made a case for the perpetrator being remorseful and not understanding the full impact of his crimes.

Fake Crypto-wallets Appear on App Store

Several fake cryptocurrency wallets have made their way into the Google Play store following the latest rise in the value of Bitcoin. Both wallets use some form of address scam, by which the user transfers currency into a seemingly new wallet address that was actually designed to siphon off any transferred currency. The second of the two wallets operated under the guise of being the “mobile” version of a well-known crypto-wallet. It was quickly identified as fake due to an inconsistent icon image. Both fake wallets were tied to the same domain and have since been removed from the store.

Ransomware Focuses on MySQL Servers

While the threat of GandCrab is not new, organizations discovered its persistent risk after researchers found it has been refocused on attacking MySQL servers. By specifically targeting the port used to connect to MySQL servers, port 3306, the attackers have had some success, since many admins allow port 3306 to bypass their internal firewalls to ensure connectivity. As GandCrab continues to narrow it’s attack scope, its remaining viable vectors are likely to be even more lucrative given that most organizations are not able to secure everything.

The post Cyber News Rundown: Popular News Site Breached appeared first on Webroot Blog.

Attention Graphic Designers: It’s Time to Secure Your Canva Credentials

Online graphic design tools are extremely useful when it comes to creating resumes, social media graphics, invitations, and other designs and documents. Unfortunately, these platforms aren’t immune to malicious online activity. Canva, a popular Australian web design service, was recently breached by a malicious hacker, resulting in 139 million user records compromised.

So, how was this breach discovered? The hacker, who goes by the name GnosticPlayers, contacted a security reporter from ZDNet on May 24th and made him aware of the situation. The hacker claims to have stolen data pertaining to 1 billion users from multiple websites. The compromised data from Canva includes names, usernames, email addresses, city, and country information.

Canva claims to securely store all user passwords using the highest standards via a Bcrypt algorithm. Bcrypt is a strong, slow password-hashing algorithm designed to be difficult and time-consuming for hackers to crack since hashing causes one-way encryption. Additionally, each Canva password was salted, meaning that random data was added to passwords to prevent revealing identical passwords used across the platform. According to ZDNet, 61 million users had their passwords encrypted with the Bcrypt algorithm, resulting in 78 million users having their Gmail addresses exposed in the breach.

Canva has notified users of the breach through email and ensured that their payment card and other financial data is safe. However, even if you aren’t a Canva user, it’s important to be aware of what cybersecurity precautions you should take in the event of a data breach. Check out the following tips:

  • Change your passwords. As an added precaution, Canva is encouraging their community of users to change their email and Canva account passwords. If a cybercriminal got a hold of the exposed data, they could gain access to your other accounts if your login credentials were the same across different platforms.
  • Check to see if you’ve been affected. If you’ve used Canva and believe your data might have been exposed, use this tool to check or set an alert to be notified of other potential data breaches.
  • Secure your personal data. Use a security solution like McAfee Identity Theft Protection. If your information is compromised during a breach, Identity Theft Protection helps monitor and keep tabs on your data in case a cybercriminal attempts to use it.

And, as always, to stay updated on all of the latest consumer and mobile security threats, follow @McAfee_Home on Twitter, listen to our podcast Hackable?, and ‘Like’ us on Facebook.

The post Attention Graphic Designers: It’s Time to Secure Your Canva Credentials appeared first on McAfee Blogs.

The Price of Loyalty, almost half of UK Office Workers are willing to sell Company’s Information

A new report released by Deep Secure revealed 45% of office workers surveyed would sell their company's corporate information. Just £1,000 would be enough to tempt 25% of employees to give away company information, while 5% would give it away for free.

59% of staff admitted at some point to have taken company information from a corporate network or devices, which matches up to known industry trends. 

Common Staff Data Exfiltration Tactics
  • Digital; email, uploading to cloud services and copying to external storage (11%)
  • Using steganography or encryption tools to hide exfiltration (8%)
  • Printing information (11%)
  • Handwriting copying information (9%)
  • Photographing information (8%)
Type of Information Taken
  • Personal Work (19%)
  • Customer Information i.e. contact details, confidential market information, sales pipeline  (11%)
  • Company Assets i.e. passwords to subscription services, company benefits (7%)
The Motivation for staff taking Information?
  • Value for their future career success in their next role (12%)
  • To keep a record of their work (12%)
  • Benefit their career (10%)
  • Financial, specifically paid to do so by an outside third party (8.5%)
The Insider Threat and DLP
Often businesses have their heads in the sand when comes to managing their insider threat, although some do turn to sophisticated IT Data Loss Prevention (DLP) solutions as a silver bullet for managing this risk. However, DLP solutions would be infective against the final four bulleted 'Staff Data Exfiltration' methods listed above.  Particularly the use of cyber tools to steal company information digitally has been democratised by the availability of toolkits on the dark web. For example, steganography toolkits, which enable cybercriminals to encode information into an image or text, can be downloaded for free and guarantee an undetectable route for getting information out of the company network.

Deep Secure CEO Dan Turner concluded “The cost of employee loyalty is staggeringly low. With nearly half of all office workers admitting that they would sell their company and clients’ most sensitive and valuable information, the business risk is not only undisputable but immense in the age of GDPR and where customers no longer tolerate data breaches. And it appears to be growing, with the 2018 Verizon DBIR showing that insiders were complicit in 28% of breaches in 2017, up from 25% in 2016. Given the prevalent use of digital and cyber tactics to exfiltrate this information, it’s critical that businesses invest in a security posture that will help them both detect and prevent company information from leaving the network,” he continued. 

The Cost of Staff Data Thefts
The theft of corporate information can hurt business competitiveness and future profit margins, and there are significant financial losses which could be incurred should staff take personal data on mass. UK supermarket giant Morrisons lost a landmark data breach court case in December 2017 took a financial hit after a disgruntled Morrisons' employee had stolen and posted the personal records of 100,000 co-workers online, the supermarket chain was held liable for the data breach by the UK High Court. With the GDPR coming into force just over a year ago, the Information Commissioner's Office is now empowered to fine British businesses millions of pounds for mass personal data losses. The Morrisons court case demonstrates UK companies will be brought to book for staff malicious data thefts.

UK Pub Chain ‘Greene King’ Gift Card Website Hacked

Major UK pub chain, Greene King (Bury St. Edmunds), had its gift card website (https://www.gkgiftcards.co.uk) compromised by hackers. The personal data breach was discovered on 14th May 2019 and confirmed a day later. The pub, restaurant and hotel chain informed their impacted customers by email today (28th May 2019).


Greene King said the hackers were able to access:
  • name
  • email address
  • user ID
  • encrypted password
  • address
  • post code
The pub chain did not disclose any further details on how passwords were "encrypted", only to say within their customer disclosure email "
Whilst your password was encrypted, it may still be compromised". It is a long established good industry coding practice for a website application's password storage to use a one-way 'salted' hash function, as opposed to storing customer plaintext passwords in an encrypted form.

No details were provided on how the hackers were able to compromise the gift card website, but there is a clue within Greene King's email statement, which suggests their website had security vulnerabilities which were fixable, "
we have taken action to prevent any further loss of personal information"

The number of customer records impacted by this data breach has also not disclosed. However, as this was a breach of personal information, Greene King was obligated under the DPA\GDPR to report the breach to the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) as well as its impacted customers. Both Greene King and ICO are yet to release a press statement about this data breach.

This is not the first data breach reported by Greene King in recent times, in November 2016 2,000 staff bank details were accidentally leaked.

Greene King Personal Data Compromise Email to Customers
Dear Customer,
I am writing to inform you about a cyber-security breach affecting our website gkgiftcards.co.uk.

Suspicious activity was discovered on 14th May and a security breach was confirmed on 15th May. No bank details or payment information were accessed. However, the information you provided to us as part of your gift card registration was accessed. Specifically, the hackers were able to access your name, email address, user ID, encrypted password, address, post code and gift card order number. Whilst your password was encrypted, it may still be compromised. It is very important that you change your password on our website, and also any other websites where this password has been used.

When you next visit our website, using the following link (https://www.gkgiftcards.co.uk/user) you will be prompted to change your password. As a consequence of this incident, you may receive emails or telephone calls from people who have obtained your personal information illegally and who are attempting to obtain more personal information from you, especially financial information.

This type of fraud is known as 'phishing'. If you receive any suspicious emails, don't reply. Get in touch with the organisation claiming to have contacted you immediately, to check this claim. Do not reply to or click any links within a suspicious email and do not dial a suspicious telephone number given to you by someone who called you. Only use publicly listed contact details, such as those published on an organisation's website or in a public telephone directory, to contact the organisation to check this claim. At this stage of our investigation, we have no evidence to suggest anyone affected by this incident has been a victim of fraud but we are continuing to monitor the situation. We have reported the matter to the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO).

As soon as we were made aware of the incident, our immediate priority was to close down any exposure, which has been done, and then confirm which customer accounts have been affected. I recognise that this is not the sort of message you want to receive from an organisation which you have provided your personal information to. I want to apologise for what has happened, and reassure you that we have taken action to prevent any further loss of personal information, and to limit any harm which might otherwise occur as a result of this incident.

Phil Thomas
Chief Commercial Officer of Greene King Plc.

Advice
  • Change your Greene King account password immediately, use a unique and strong password.
  • Ensure you have not used the same Greene King credentials (i.e. your email address with the same password) on any other website or app, especially with your email account, and with banking websites and apps. Consider using a password manager to assist you in creating and using unique strong passwords with every website and application you use.
  • Always use Multi-factor Authentication (MFA) when offered. MFA provides an additional level of account protection, which protects your account from unauthorised access should your password become compromised.
  • Check https://haveibeenpwned.com/ to see if your email and password combination is known to have been compromised in a past data breach.
  • Stay alert for customised messages from scammers, who may use your stolen personal information to attempt to con you, by email (phishing), letter and phone (voice & text). Sometimes criminals will pretend to represent the company breached, or another reputable organisation, using your stolen personal account information to convince you they are legit.
  • Never click on links, open attachments or reply to any suspicious emails.  Remember criminals can fake (spoof) their 'sender' email address and email content to replicate a ligament email.

2019 Verizon Data Breach Investigations Report (DBIR) Key Takeaways

The 2019 Verizon Data Breach Investigations Report (DBIR) was released today, and I was lucky enough to be handed a hot off the press physical copy while at the Global Cyber Alliance Cyber Trends 2019 event at Mansion House, London. For me, the DBIR provides the most insightful view on the evolving threat landscape, and is the most valuable annual “state of the nation” report in the security industry.

Global Cyber Alliance Cyber Trends 2019

The DBIR has evolved since its initial release in 2008, when it was payment card data breach and Verizon breach investigations data focused. This year’s DBIR involved the analysis of 41,686 security incidents from 66 global data sources in addition to Verizon. The analysed findings are expertly presented over 77 pages, using simple charts supported by ‘plain English’ astute explanations, reason why then, the DBIR is one of the most quoted reports in presentations and within industry sales collateral.

DBIR 2019 Key Takeaways
      • Financial gain remains the most common motivate behind data breaches (71%)
      • 43% of breaches occurred at small businesses
      • A third (32%) of breaches involved phishing
      • The nation-state threat is increasing, with 23% of breaches by nation-state actors
      • More than half (56%) of data breaches took months or longer to discover
      • Ransomware remains a major threat, and is the second most common type of malware reported
      • Business executives are increasingly targeted with social engineering, attacks such as phishing\BEC
      • Crypto-mining malware accounts for less than 5% of data breaches, despite the publicity it didn’t make the top ten malware listed in the report
      • Espionage is a key motivation behind a quarter of data breaches
      • 60 million records breached due to misconfigured cloud service buckets
      • Continued reduction in payment card point of sale breaches
      • The hacktivist threat remains low, the increase of hacktivist attacks report in DBIR 2012 report appears to be a one-off spike

Digital Parenting: ‘Eat Your Veggies, Brush Your Teeth, Strengthen Your Passwords’

strong password

strong passwordAs adults, we know the importance of strong passwords, and we’ve likely preached the message to our kids. But let’s rewind for a minute. Do our kids understand why strong passwords are important and why it needs to become a habit much like personal health and hygiene?

If we want the habit to stick, the reason why can’t be simply because we told them so. We’ve got to make it personal and logical.

Think about the habits you’ve already successfully instilled and the reasoning you’ve attached to them.

Brush your teeth to prevent disease and so they don’t fall out.
Eat a balanced diet so you have fuel for the day and to protect yourself from illness and disease.
Get enough sleep to restore your body and keep your mind sharp for learning.
Bathe and groom to wash away germs (and to keep people from falling over when you walk by). 

The same reasoning applies to online hygiene: We change our passwords (about every three months) to stay as safe as possible online and protect what matters. When talking to kids, the things that matter include our home address, our school name, our personal information (such as a parent’s credit card information, our social security number, or other account access).

Kids Targeted

We falsely believe that an adult’s information is more valuable than a child’s. On the contrary, given a choice, 10 out of 10 hackers would mine a child’s information over an adult’s because it’s unblemished. Determined identity thieves will use a child’s Social Security number to apply for government benefits, open bank, and credit card accounts, apply for a loan or utility service or rent an apartment. Also, once a child’s information is hacked, a thief can usually get to a parent’s information.

How to Stay Safe

It’s a tall task to prevent some of the massive data breaches in the news that target kids’ information. However, what is in our control, the ability to practice and teach healthy password habits in our home.

Tips for Families

strong passwordShake it up. According to McAfee Chief Consumer Security Evangelist Gary Davis, to bulletproof your passwords, make sure they are at least 12 characters long and include numbers, symbols, and upper and lowercase letters. Consider substituting numbers and symbols for letters, such as zero for “O” or @ for “A”.

Encourage kids to get creative and create passwords or phrases that mean something to them. For instance, advises Gary, “If you love crime novels you might pick the phrase: ILoveBooksOnCrime
Then you would substitute some letters for numbers and characters, and put a portion in all caps to make it even stronger, such as 1L0VEBook$oNcRIM3!”

Three random words. Password wisdom has morphed over the years as we learn more and more about hacking practices. According to the National Cyber Security Centre, another way to create a strong password is by using three random words (not birthdates, addresses, or sports numbers) that mean something to you. For instance: ‘lovepuppypaws’ or ‘drakegagacardib’ or ‘eatsleeprepeat’ or ‘tacospizzanutella’.

More than one password. Creating a new password for each account will head off cybercriminals if any of your other passwords are cracked. Consider a password manager to help you keep track of your passwords.

Change product default passwords immediately. If you purchase products for kids such as internet-connected gaming devices, routers, or speakers, make sure to change the default passwords to something unique, since hackers often know the manufacturer’s default settings.

When shopping online, don’t save info. Teach kids that when shopping on their favorite retail or gaming sites, not to save credit card information. Saving personal information to different accounts may speed up the checkout process. However, it also compromises data.

Employ extra protection. Comprehensive security software can protect you from several threats such as viruses, identity theft, privacy breaches, and malware designed to grab your data. Security software can cover your whole family as well as multiple devices.

Web Advisor. Keep your software up-to-date with a free web advisor that helps protect you from accidentally typing passwords into phishing sites.

strong password

Use unique passwords and MFA. This is also called “layering up.” 1) Use unique passwords for each of your accounts. By using different passwords, you avoid having all of your accounts become vulnerable if you are hacked (think domino effect). 2) MFA is Multi-Factor Authentication (also called two-step verification or authentication ). MFA confirms a user’s identity only after presenting two or more pieces of evidence. Though not 100% secure, this practice adds a layer of security to an account.

Keep it private. Kids love to show one another loyalty by sharing passwords and giving one another access to their social network accounts. DO NOT encourage this behavior. It’s reckless and could carry some serious privacy consequences. (Of course, sharing with parents, is recommended).

Credential Cracking

According to the Identity Theft Resource Center® (ITRC), the reported number of consumer records exposed containing sensitive personally identifiable information jumped 126 percent in 2018. The report explicitly stated password cracking as an issue: “The exploitation of usernames and passwords by nefarious actors continues to be a ripe target due to the increase in credential cracking activities – not to mention the amount of data that can be gleaned by accessing accounts that reuse the same credentials.”

May 2 is World Password Day and the perfect time to consider going over these password basics with your family.

The post Digital Parenting: ‘Eat Your Veggies, Brush Your Teeth, Strengthen Your Passwords’ appeared first on McAfee Blogs.

Learning from the Big Data Breaches of 2018

Guest article by Cybersecurity Professionals

What can we learn from the major data breaches of 2018?
2018 was a major year for cybersecurity. With the introduction of GDPR, the public’s awareness of their cyber identities has vastly increased – and the threat of vulnerability along with it. The Information Commissioner’s Office received an increased number of complaints this year and the news was filled with reports of multi-national and multi-millionaire businesses suffering dramatic breaches at the hand of cybercriminals.

2018 Data Breaches
Notable breaches last year include:

5. British Airways
The card details of 380,000 customers were left vulnerable after a hack affected bookings on BA’s website and app. The company insists that no customer’s card details have been used illegally but they are expected to suffer a major loss of money in revenue and fines as a result of the attack.

4. T-Mobile
Almost 2 million users had their personal data, including billing information and email addresses accessed through an API by an international group of hackers last August.

3. Timehop
A vulnerability in the app’s cloud computing account meant that the names and contact details of 21 million users were affected on Timehop. The company assured users that memories were only shared on the day and deleted after, meaning that the hackers were not able to access their Facebook and Twitter history.

2. Facebook & Cambridge Analytica
One of the most sensationalised news stories of the last year, Facebook suffered a string of scandals after it was released that analytics firm Cambridge Analytica had used the Facebook profile data of 87 million users in an attempt to influence President Trump’s campaign and potentially aid the Vote Leave campaign in the UK-EU referendum.

1. Quora
After a “malicious third party” accessed Quora’s system, the account information, including passwords, names and email addresses, of 100 million users was compromised. The breach was discovered in November 2018.

GDPR
As the UK made the switch from the Data Protection Act to GDPR, businesses and internet users across the country suddenly became more aware of their internet identities and their rights pertaining to how businesses handled their information.

With the responsibility now firmly on the business to protect the data of UK citizens, companies are expected to keep a much higher standard of security in order to protect all personal data of their clients.

How many complaints to the ICO?
Elizabeth Denham, the UK’s Information Commissioner, said that the year 2017-18 was ‘one of increasing activity and challenging actions, some unexpected, for the office’.

This is shown in an increase in data protection complaints by 15%, as well as an increase in self-reported breaches by 30%. Since this is the first year of GDPR, it is expected that self-reported breaches have increased as businesses work to insure themselves against much higher fines for putting off their announcement.

The ICO also reports 19 criminal prosecutions and 18 convictions last year and fines totalling £1.29 million for serious security failures under the Data Protection Act 1998. The office has assured that they don’t intend to make an example of firms reporting data breaches in the early period of GDPR but as time goes on, leniency is likely to fade as businesses settle into the higher standards.

What does it mean for SMEs?
With 36% of SMEs having no cybersecurity plan, the general consensus is that they make for unpopular targets. However, with the GDPR, the responsibility is on the business to protect their data so being vulnerable could result in business-destroying costs. Considering the cost to businesses could total the higher of 2% of annual turnover or €10 million, data protection is of paramount importance to small businesses.

How exposed are we in the UK?
At 31%, our vulnerability rating is higher than the Netherlands, Germany, Estonia (30%) and Finland (29%), but the UK is a more likely target for cybercriminals looking to exploit high tech and financial services industries, which are some of the most vulnerable across Great Britain.

Despite a higher level of vulnerability, the UK has one of the largest cyber security talent pools, showing there is time and manpower being dedicated to the protection of our data online.

https://www.cybersecurity-professionals.com/blog/2019/03/01/cybercrime-in-the-uk-infographic/

Cyber Security Roundup for February 2019

The perceived threat posed by Huawei to the UK national infrastructure continued to make the headlines throughout February, as politicians, UK government agencies and the Chinese telecoms giant continued to play out their rather public spat in the media. See my post Is Huawei a Threat to UK National Security? for further details. And also, why DDoS might be the greater threat to 5G than Huawei supplied network devices.

February was a rather quiet month for hacks and data breaches in the UK, Mumsnet reported a minor data breach following a botched upgrade, and that was about it. The month was a busy one for security updates, with Microsoft, Adobe and Cisco all releasing high numbers of patches to fix various security vulnerabilities, including several released outside of their scheduled monthly patch release cycles.

A survey by PCI Pal concluded the consequences of a data breach had a greater impact in the UK than the United States, in that UK customers were more likely to abandon a company when let down by a data breach. The business reputational impact should always be taken into consideration when risk assessing security.


Another survey of interest was conducted by Nominet, who polled 408 Chief Information Security Officers (CISOs) at midsize and large organisations in the UK and the United States. A whopping 91% of the respondents admitted to experiencing high to moderate levels of stress, with 26% saying the stress had led to mental and physical health issues, and 17% said they had turned to alcohol. The contributing factors for this stress were job security, inadequate budget and resources, and a lack of support from the board and senior management. A CISO role can certainly can be a poisoned-chalice, so its really no surprise most CISOs don't stay put for long.

A Netscout Threat Landscape Report declared in the second half of 2018, cyber attacks against IoT devices and DDoS attacks had both rose dramatically. Fuelled by the compromise of high numbers of IoT devices, the number of DDoS attacks in the 100GBps to 200GBps range increased 169%, while those in the 200GBps to 300GBps range exploded 2,500%. The report concluded cybercriminals had built and used cheaper, easier-to-deploy and more persistent malware, and cyber gangs had implemented this higher level of efficiency by adopting the same principles used by legitimate businesses. These improvements has helped malicious actors greatly increase the number of medium-size DDoS attacks while infiltrating IoT devices even quicker.

In a rare speech, Jeremy Fleming, the head of GCHQ warned the internet could deteriorate into "an even less governed space" if the international community doesn't come together to establish a common set of principles. He said "China, Iran, Russia and North Korea" had broken international law through cyber attacks, and made the case for when "offensive cyber activities" were good, saying "their use must always meet the three tests of legality, necessity and proportionality. Their use, in particular to cause disruption or damage - must be in extremis".  Clearly international law wasn't developed with cyber space in mind, so it looks like GCGQ are attempting to raise awareness to remedy that.

I will be speaking at the e-crime Cyber Security Congress in London on 6th March 2019, on cloud security, new business metrics, future risks and priorities for 2019 and beyond.

Finally, completely out of the blue, I was informed by 4D that this blog had been picked by a team of their technical engineers and Directors as one of the best Cyber Security Blogs in the UK. The 6 Best Cyber Security Blogs - A Data Centre's Perspective Truly humbled and in great company to be on that list.

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    Busting 5 Cybersecurity Myths

    It is not a secret that many people nowadays do not pay much attention when they surf the web at home or at work. There are new data breaches and exploits on a daily basis and still avoiding to take any precautions may result in a catastrophic consequences. Even the biggest corporations are paying millions of dollars so they can improve their cybersecurity and remain safe. However, if you still believe in some of the cybersecurity myths you may put your own computer or even your whole organization to a huge risk. We from CyberDB have decided to bust some of the top 5 cyber security myths and make it clear for you.

    Only the IT department is responsible for cybersecurity

    It is not wrong to say that the IT department is responsible to implement new processes and policies to keep the cybersecurity in a top notch state. However, they just don’t have a magic stick to protect all of the computers in the network. In reality each employee should be extremely careful when receiving and opening different e-mail messages from colleagues or third parties. It is dangerous since the infection can spread across all of the departments within the organization and this may cause a further data breach for example.

    Using just an antivirus software is enough

    Antivirus software might have been enough to safe your business from potential attack 20 years ago – nowadays it definitely is just not enough to protect your whole organization. Hackers find new ways to disable your antivirus and hide their attacks in the system. With ransomware gaining more popularity among hackers the time of getting infected and getting your information locked is just a matter of seconds. So using an antivirus is not always enough, but you also need to stay informed about the latest threats. Check out our database of cyber security vendors to find the best solution for your personal or business needs.

    A strong password is enough

    It is not a secret that having a long and complex password on your accounts is an essential. However, even big tech giants like Facebook or Apple experience data breaches and are pretty often a target for hackers. Every website requires you to create a strong password, but it is also good to use two-factor-authentication (2FA). At first the user was getting an SMS with a code for 2FA, but even this can be compromised by using a cloned sim card. So make sure you have an app like Google Authenticator for example to make your accounts more secure.

    Threats are being spread only through the Internet

    Some users may think that disconnecting from the internet will prevent the threats spreading around the network and they are completely wrong. Just imagine what happens if an employee brings an infected flash drive and plugs it in – all of the computers may become infected and your company may lose valuable information. You may have your information stolen even when you shop at a local retailer. So threats are not only online, but in our daily life and we need to be very careful and take care of our personal information.

    Only certain industries experience cyber attacks

    Some businesses still believe that they may be not targeted by hackers because they are a small or mid-sized business or in a specific industry. Well, they are completely wrong. Some companies also believe they do not have anything that hackers may find valuable to steal. In reality there is information like personal addresses or credit card numbers which can make every business in every industry a potential target. Here are the industries which are most vulnerable to cyber-attacks nowadays:

     Top 10 Sectors Breached

    The post Busting 5 Cybersecurity Myths appeared first on CyberDB.