The target: The Health and Welfare Department of West Bengal, India
The take: 8 million COVID-19 test results including personally identifiable information such as: name, age, address, and positive or negative test results.
The attack vector: The breach revolves around the health authority’s reporting system, whereby individuals who had been tested for COVID-19 received links by SMS with a unique URL to access their test results by web. It was discovered that there was no authentication in place on the reporting system, and that by incrementing the ID number included in the URL, anyone with internet access could access all test results for the state.
This example serves once again to highlight the huge risks of adopting a ‘security by obscurity’ model. When administering a public facing portal which provides access to sensitive information, authentication controls are not optional – it is simply inadequate to make all records publicly available and trust that the uniqueness of the URL will protect the sensitive data of organizations or individuals.
GlobeNewswire: HYAS, a leader in threat intelligence, adversary infrastructure, and network defense, today announced that it had closed a $US16 million round of funding led by Austin, TX based, S3 Ventures. The funds will be used to accelerate product development and global market expansion for the company’s cyber attack infrastructure identification and blocking technology.
CBC: Hundreds of workers at Canada's foreign signals intelligence agency have voted to strike — a move that comes as the threat of state-sponsored cyber attacks related to the pandemic appears to be rising.
Tech Radar: The world is facing a cybercrime pandemic, a new report on the Covid-19 security landscape suggests. According to research from security firm Check Point, more than 100,000 malicious websites are currently active each day, as well as 10,000 different malware strains.
ZDNet: Microsoft is continuing to roll out more vertical cloud packages tailored for specific vertical industries. On February 24, the company announced three more of these "industry clouds" for financial services, manufacturing and nonprofit. These supplement the already-announced Microsoft cloud packages for healthcare and retail.
Trend Micro: 2020 was the year that stymied organizations and tested their limits on many fronts. Incidents of great consequence, shifts to remote-work arrangements, and other significant changes from the familiar prompted a renewed awareness and reassessment in organizations. The challenges they encountered paved the way for adaptive and alternative solutions that took into account human as well as technological perspectives.
Reuters: Top executives at Texas-based software company SolarWinds Corp, Microsoft Corp and cybersecurity firms FireEye Inc and CrowdStrike Holdings Inc defended their conduct in breaches blamed on Russian hackers and sought to shift responsibility elsewhere in testimony to a U.S. Senate panel.
The Business Times: Sequoia Capital told its investors that some personal data and financial information may have been accessed by a third party after one of its employees fell victim to a successful phishing attack, according to a report from US news website Axios.
The target: The Independent School District of 2142 of St. Louis County Schools
The take: W-2 tax forms of 677 district employees with personally identifiable information including: Social Security Number, first and last name, home address, wages, and more.
The attack vector: A spoofed email requesting the forms came from an attacker pretending to be the district Superintendent. Believing the request to be legitimate, the forms were sent to the fraudulent email address provided in the request.
This breach highlights the importance of employee cybersecurity training and a posture of constant vigilance. Scammers rely upon people’s natural inclination to be helpful and prompt, and it’s critical to ensure that employees who handle sensitive information receive tailored training, emphasizing the caution and care they must employ in responding to unusual requests for data.
Yahoo Finance: French President Emmanuel Macron on Thursday unveiled a plan to better arm public facilities and private companies against cybercriminals following ransomware attacks at two hospitals this month and an upsurge of similar cyber assaults in France.
Tech Republic: Effective CISOs and other leaders are those who plan for today but with an eye on tomorrow, and always put people first, according to Christopher Krebs, former director of the Department of Homeland Security's cybersecurity and infrastructure agency.
Reuters: The United States has charged three North Korean computer programmers with a massive hacking spree aimed at stealing more than $1.3 billion in money and cryptocurrency, affecting companies from banks to Hollywood movie studios, the Department of Justice said.
The Mercury News: The US government’s probe into the devastating SolarWinds breach is likely to take “several months” at least, according to the top White House cybersecurity official, speaking to reporters Wednesday in the Biden administration’s first public assessment of the gravity of the suspected Russian spying campaign.
Dark Reading: More than 100 financial services firms across multiple countries were targeted in a wave of ransom distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks conducted by the same threat actor in 2020.
The target: Accellion, a U.S based cloud service vendor providing secure file transfer applications for enterprise use.
The take: A variety of datasets including personally identifying information and proprietary data for an estimated 300 clients, including The Australian Securities and Investments Commission, The Reserve Bank of New Zealand, Harvard Business School, Singtel (a Singapore-based telcom conglomerate), and the QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute.
The attack vector: Hackers breached the firm’s legacy File Transfer Application software by taking advantage of a zero-day vulnerability in a legacy software product – a point of weakness identified and exploited by a threat actor before the developer was made aware of it and was able to produce a patch.
This supply-chain attack against a platform which was near retirement highlights the danger of relying on end-of-life, legacy software products. Firms should be proactive in moving to current-generation software solutions - Accellion have reportedly “encouraged all FTA customers to migrate to Kiteworks [their current generation offering] for the last three years”.
Professional Pensions: The levels of cyber security are not consistent among UK pension schemes, according to research by Aon. The firm's Cyber Threats to Corporate Pension Schemes survey revealed a mixed state of cyber security, finding three in five schemes have a cyber strategy.
Help Net Security: Thanks to cyberattacks making regular headlines in the news, it’s no secret that massive data breaches are a significant threat to organizations. However, a report from F-Secure highlights the rarely-discussed impact these attacks can have on people and families using online services.
Reuters: Israeli cybersecurity company CYE said on Wednesday it had raised $100 million from Swedish private equity firm EQT and London-based venture capital firm 83North as it looks to expand in European and North American markets.
WSJ: Late last year, more than 100 financial-services companies across the world received threats from a group of hackers who claimed destructive attacks would follow unless large payments were made.
BNN Bloomberg: The U.K. government’s antitrust regulator was hit by 150 personal data breaches in the last two years, as hackers targeted its trove of sensitive business information.
Businesswire: Newtown Lane Marketing, Incorporated and Appgate (the “Company”), an industry leading secure access company, today announced that they have entered into a definitive merger agreement. Upon consummation of the transaction, Appgate will become a public company with significant financial resources to accelerate growth, scale, and go-to-market strategies.
BNN Bloomberg: More than 100 banks, exchanges, insurers and other financial firms worldwide were targets of the same type of cyberattack that crippled the New Zealand Stock Exchange in August, though they didn’t suffer the same extent of damage.
The target: UScelluar, the fourth largest mobile network operator in the United States.
The take: Customer records of personally identifiable information including: names, addresses, account names and PIN codes, telephone numbers, information on their phone service plans, and the ability to alter the phone number on accounts which receive two-factor authentication texts.
The attack vector: The attackers tricked retail employees into downloading malicious software which contained a RAT (remote access tool), allowing the threat actors to access the computer systems remotely. As the employees were already logged into the CRM (customer retail management) software, the hackers were able to move freely within the systems using an employee’s credentials.
Social engineering is a widely used tactic by attackers to exploit our innate desire to be helpful in a quick manner without thinking through the consequences. The employee’s mistake, innocent or not, of clicking on an unverified link granted the attacker the ability to install a Remote Access Tool and navigate through the company’s systems under legitimate credentials. Continuous employee education around suspicious links, and the social engineering tactics they’re paired with, are critical components of a firm’s robust cybersecurity posture.
Insurance Journal: The New York State Department of Financial Services (DFS) has issued new guidance spelling out best practices for New York-regulated property/casualty insurers that write cyber insurance. This serves as the first guidance the regulator has issued on cyber insurance in particular.
Bleeping Computer: Leading French cybersecurity company StormShield disclosed that their systems were hacked, allowing a threat actor to access the company's support ticket system and steal source code for Stormshield Network Security firewall software.
Security Magazine: Cybersecurity training today is much different than it was 10 years ago. In most organizations, we have developed training that is engaging, interactive, even enjoyable at times. Security leaders of yesterday realized that having a once a year, boring, PowerPoint like training that employees had to undergo to check a box was not working. Everyone dreaded that training and that led to skimming the material and clicking through slides, then brute-forcing their way through the answers on the final exam.
Funds Europe: According to a survey of IT directors and chief technology officers by consulting firm Sionic, 93% of asset management firms have employees creating and designing their own applications.
Reuters: Suspected Chinese hackers exploited a flaw in software made by SolarWinds Corp to help break into U.S. government computers last year, five people familiar with the matter told Reuters, marking a new twist in a sprawling cybersecurity breach that U.S. lawmakers have labeled a national security emergency.
Help Net Security: Trend Micro shared results from a study that reveals systemic challenges with security integration into business processes. The report includes the top ways to drive engagement and agreement around cybersecurity strategies within an organization.
IT Pro Portal: Cybersecurity plays an essential role in protecting us and the digital systems we use on a daily basis. Although technology is rapidly evolving, we are witnessing a vast number of data breaches due to organizations facing minimal charges for poor protection of data and storage.