Week of July 01, 2016


Week of July 01, 2016

More Than 50% Of SMB's Breached Last Year

  • Sponsored by Keeper Security and conducted by the Ponemon Institute, a study analysing the state of cybersecurity in small and medium-sized business (SMBs) found that more than 50% of SMBs have been breached in the last 12 months.
  • Only 14% of companies surveyed rated their ability to mitigate cyber-attacks as highly effective.
  • The most prevalent attacks against smaller businesses are web-based and involve phishing and social engineering breaches.
  • Strong passwords and biometrics are believed to be an essential part of a security defense, yet 59% of respondents say they have no visibility into employees' password practices and 65% do not strictly enforce their documented password policies.
  • Training employees and utilizing essential security technologies such as password management, firewalls and anti-malware are straightforward, yet extremely effective ways for SMBs to mitigate cyber risk.

Source: Market Wired, June 30, 2016

MGH Hack Exposes Thousands Of Patients

  • A data breach at Massachusetts General Hospital exposed the Social Security numbers and dates of birth of 4,300 patients.
  • That information included patient name, date of birth and Social Security number and, in some instances, may have also included date and type of dental appointment, dental provider name and medical record number.
  • MGH reported the breach of Paterson Dental Supply Inc.’s servers to a law enforcement agency which forbade MGH from notifying patients immediately.
  • The hospital said, “MGH is committed to the security of all of the sensitive information maintained by its third-party vendors and is taking this matter very seriously.”

Source: Boston Herald, June 30, 2016

Noodels & Company Payment Data May Have Been Hacked

  • Recent data security incident may have compromised the security of payment information of some its customers.
  • The possible data security incident has affected customers who used debit or credit cards at some of its locations between January 31st and June 2nd .
  • It has been working with third-party forensic investigators to determine how the incident occurred and what information was affected.
  • Noodles & Company began investigating in May after its credit card processor reported unusual activity.

Source: Fortune, June 29, 2016

Hackers Are Infecting Smartphones

  • Ransomware infections on computers have skyrocketed in recent years, but that doesn't mean the criminals have forgotten about your smartphone.
  • Kaspersky Lab released a report on Wednesday demonstrating a four-fold increase in ransomware attacks hitting Android mobile users in just a year.
  • On PCs, a user's system is infected and all its files are encrypted, then the attacker displays a message telling them they have a few days to send money or their files will be destroyed.
  • Is usually around $100 to $200, and the upward trend in usage is no doubt because users tend to pay.
  • Ransomware can affect iOS devices, but they are not as susceptible as android.

Source: Business Insider, June 30, 2016

Compute Coughs Up Passwords And Encryption Keys

  • Here’s a security update to haunt your dreams, and to make the FBI’s quest for un-exploitable cryptographic backdoors look all the more absurd: a team of researchers has shown the sounds made by a computer’s fan can be analysed to extract usernames, passwords, and even full encryption keys.
  • In hacking, there’s a term called “phreaking” that used to refer to phone hacking via automated touch-tone systems, but which today colloquially refers any kind of system investigation or manipulation that uses sound as its main mechanism of action.
  • Phone phreakers used to make free long distance phone calls by playing the correct series of tones into a phone receiver.
  • Another form of phreaking involves listening to the sound output of a device to learn what the device is doing, but to do this you must be physically close enough to the target to put a microphone within listening range.
  • If your target system is inside CIA Headquarters, you’re almost certainly going to need an agent on the inside to make that happen.
  • This new fan-attack actually requires even more specialized access, since you have to not only get a mic close to the machine, but infect the machine with a fan-exploiting malware.
  • There is simply no way to make any system immune to infiltration. You can limit the points of vulnerability, and then supplement those points with other measures.

Source: Extreme Tech, June 29, 2016

Data Deal Between U.S. And Europe

  • A little bit of good comes from the Brexit mess.
  • Brexit will likely improve the odds for a fragile new data privacy agreement between the U.S. and the European Union.
  • Such an agreement is necessary for companies like Facebook, which transfer consumer and employee data between from Europe to servers in the U.S.
  • Facebook and other U.S. companies have been using the legal equivalent of duct tape to avoid getting fined by European data regulators.
  • A new arrangement known as the “Privacy Shield” is expected to go to vote by representatives of EU states in July.
  • Europe’s economy is already in a post-Brexit state of trauma, so EU bodies may wish to avoid causing additional uncertainty by rejecting the Privacy Shield.

Source: Fortune, June 28, 2016

CISO's Versus "Operators"

  • Most people are familiar with the famous warning given in the London Underground to “Mind the Gap.”
  • In security, we also need to “mind the gap” – meaning the stark communication and understand gap between the Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) and the operators (analysts, incident responders, engineers, etc.).
  • Both vantage points are formed by observing the same security program in the same organization, but reflect a very different perception of reality.
  • A good operator will work to communicate issues and challenges honestly and clearly to the CISO.
  • In turn, a good CISO will appreciate the truth, as long as it comes with a plan for how to address shortcomings.

Source: Dark Reading, June 25, 2016

Hackers Selling 655,000 Patient Records

  • A hacker going by “thedarkoverlord” is reportedly trying to sell more than half a million patient records, obtained from exploiting Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP), on a dark web marketplace.
  • The databases contain Social Security numbers, patients’ full names, race and genders, addresses, dates of birth, phone numbers, insurance information and email addresses.
  • The databases being advertised on The Real Deal marketplace allegedly include 48,000 patient records from a healthcare organization in Farmington, Missouri, another 210,000 records from Central/Midwest US, and 397,000 healthcare records from Georgia.
  • If “thedarkoverlord” sells all three healthcare databases just once, then he would make about $682,110.
  • The hacker is not revealing the names of the breached organizations yet, since he is trying to extort a ransom from them.

Source: Computer World, June 27, 2016

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