The Week in Breach: 04/07/20 – 04/14/20 | CloudSmart IT

The Week in Breach: 04/07/20 – 04/14/20

This week, third party contractors put data at risk, phishing scams continue to target unprepared employees, and cybercriminals target online retailers as the pandemic continues to keep customers out of stores.  

Dark Web ID Trends:

  • Top Source Hits: ID Theft Forums
  • Top Compromise Type: Domain
  • Top Industry: Education & Research
  • Top Employee Count: 101-250

United States – Wolfe & Associates Exploit: Unauthorized access Wolfe & Associates: Property management company
Gauge indicating moderate risk
Risk to Small Business: 2.756 = Moderate A company database containing housing applicants’ personal data was infiltrated by hackers more than six months ago, providing bad actors unfettered and unrestrained access to sensitive personal information. Wolfe & Associates learned of the breach when it was notified by a local police department, which raises real questions about their cybersecurity capabilities and defensive posture. In addition to contacting victims directly, Wolfe & Associates completed a holistic overhaul of its IT infrastructure. However, this costly upgrade won’t undo the damage of its negligent data defense.
gauge indicating moderate risk
Individual Risk: 2.593 = Moderate The stolen database contains account information for 217,000 users. This includes names, email addresses, and hashed and scrambled passwords. Those impacted by the breach should immediately update their login credentials for this website and any other service using the same information, plus closely monitor their accounts for unusual or suspicious activity.
Customers Impacted: Unknown How it Could Affect Your Customers’ Business: In response to this incident, Wolfe & Associates undertook a holistic realignment of their data security capabilities. However, in today’s cybersecurity landscape, where hackers are actively looking to exploit lax data defense standards, companies must take action to secure critical information before a breach occurs.

United States – Canon Business Process Exploit: Phishing scam Canon Business Process: Business outsourcing provider
A gauge indicating severe risk
Risk to Small Business: 1.575 = Severe After an employee fell for a phishing scam, hackers gained access to the personal data from the company’s business contracts, including General Electric. The breach occurred between February 3 and February 14, 2020, but Canon Business Process didn’t learn of the breach until February 28. Now, in addition to providing credit monitoring services for victims, Canon Business Process has damaged its reputation with a major client.
A gauge indicating severe risk
Individual Risk: 1.701 = Severe Canon Business Process provides outsourcing services for human resources and payroll responsibilities, so the compromised data includes direct deposit forms, tax forms, Social Security numbers, birth certificates, passports, benefit applications, and driver’s licenses. This information is often used to execute financial fraud, and those impacted by the breach should immediately notify their financial institutions of the breach. In addition, they should enroll in the complimentary credit monitoring services provided by Canon Business Process. 
Customers Impacted: Unknown How it Could Affect Your Customers’ Business: Third-party data breaches are becoming increasingly common, extending businesses’ cybersecurity concerns to every partnership they pursue. With the cost and consequences of a data breach continually increasing, every company should consider a company’s defensive posture before agreeing to work together.

United States – nCourt Exploit: Unprotected database nCourt: Payment processor
A gauge indicating severe risk
Risk to Small Business: 2.341 = Severe nCourt developers failed to secure a database containing customers’ financial data from its two websites that facilitate court payments. The breach compromised three years of customer data through November 2019. Unfortunately, this information has already been posted on hacking forums where bad actors can use it for many nefarious purposes.
Individual Risk: At this time, no personal information was compromised in the breach. Customers Impacted: Unknown How it Could Affect Your Customers’ Business: Companies in every sector have seen an uptick in cybersecurity threats as COVID-19 disrupts business-as-usual and puts many people on edge. This is especially true for the healthcare industry, which is experiencing a deluge of ransomware attacks, phishing scams, and other threats at a critical time.

United States – Otis Bowen Center for Human Services Exploit: Phishing scam Otis Bowen Center for Human Services: Mental health and addiction recovery service
gauge indicating severe risk
Risk to Small Business: 2.223 = Severe Two employees engaged with a phishing scam that provided hackers with access to company data. Although the breach occurred in January 2020, the company only recently completed a digital forensic audit that revealed the extent of the incident. Unfortunately, this slow response time has put victims at risk of data misuse, and it could have regulatory implications because of the healthcare-oriented nature of the breach.
Gauge indicating severe risk
Individual Risk: 2.130 = Severe The company declined to identify the specific data sets, but patient data often contains peoples’ most sensitive information. Victims were notified by email, and they should take every precaution to ensure that they mitigate the possible repercussions of the breach. This includes enrolling in the complimentary credit and identity monitoring services offered by the company.
Customers Impacted: 35,800 How it Could Affect Your Customers’ Business: In 2020, data privacy regulations impact companies in every sector and in many locations. As a result, data security isn’t just an altruistic endeavor. It’s a mission-critical priority, and a failure to execute on this standard can have significant financial implications for companies that experience a data breach.

Canada – Maropost Exploit: Unsecured database Maropost: Customer engagement platform
gauge indicating severe risk
Risk to Small Business: 2.703 = Severe An unsecured database exposed the metadata for millions of customers’ emails. The database was discovered in early February by a news outlet who alerted Maropost of the vulnerability. However, those warnings went unheeded, and the database remained exposed until April 1, 2020. Now, the media is calling for customers to hold the company accountable for its actions, which means that Maropost will have to repair its reputation as it overhauls its cybersecurity practices.
Individual Risk: 2.819 = Moderate Although personally identifiable information wasn’t compromised in the incident, customer metadata could be used to create authentic-looking phishing emails that could trick customers into disclosing even more sensitive data. Those impacted by the breach should carefully scrutinize digital communications to verify their authenticity.
Customers Impacted: 95,000,000 How it Could Affect Your Customers’ Business: Unsecured databases are an unforced error that can have devastating consequences for your customers and bottom line. With the consequences of a data breach becoming more apparent to all parties, people are less willing to work with companies that can’t secure critical data. Consequently, companies that want to thrive will ensure that they have taken every precaution possible to demonstrate their efficacy in this regard.

Italy – Exploit: Ransomware Email service provider
gauge indicating extreme risk
Risk to Small Business: 2.434 = Extreme This product lets parents track their child’s location and alerts them if the child leaves their designated safe location – but a coding error allowed hackers to download users’ personal data and mimic their location on the service. This dangerous vulnerability not only disrupted that functionality, it also gave hackers access to minors’ location and personally identifiable information. To make matters worse, this is the second time that the watchmaker has experienced this flaw. The same problem was discovered and repaired in 2019, raising serious questions about the platform’s commitment to cybersecurity.
gauge indicating extreme risk
Individual Risk: 1.227 = Extreme According to hackers, the databases contain users’ plaintext passwords, security questions, email content, and email attachments. The breach pertains to those who sign up for between 2007 and 2020. Fortunately, no financial information was compromised. Users should immediately reset their account credentials while also understanding that private details from their messages are already for sale on the Dark Web.
Customers Impacted: 600,000 How it Could Affect Your Customers’ Business: The breach is extensive, but it’s not the only way that hackers acquire account login credentials. With billions of records for sale on the Dark Web, they can often obtain this information relatively easily. In response, simple actions, like using strong, unique passwords across all accounts and enabling multi-factor authentication, can help keep accounts secure even after hackers acquire login credentials

United Kingdom – Aerial Direct Exploit: Unauthorized database access Aerial Direct: Independent telecommunications provider
gauge indicating extreme risk
Risk to Small Business: 1.197 = Extreme Hackers gained access to an external backup database on February 26th that included the personal information of current and former customers. The breach contains copious amounts of customer information dating back six years. Although the company was quick to secure the database, the incident could impact its customer relationships, including its relationship with the O2. At the same time, the company will likely face regulatory scrutiny under Europe’s GDPR guidelines, which could have further challenged the company’s recovery efforts.
gauge indicating extreme risk
Individual Risk: 2.807 = Extreme The breach compromised customers’ personally identifiable information, including their names, dates of birth, business addresses, email addresses, phone numbers, and purchasing information. This information can quickly make its way across the internet, and bad actors often use it to execute new cybercrimes. Those impacted by the breach should carefully evaluate their accounts for suspicious activity while staying vigilant to assess the validity of incoming messages.
Customers Impacted: Unknown How it Could Affect Your Customers’ Business: The defensive posture of third party contractors and the implications of data privacy regulations are some of the top concerns for today’s companies, and this incident reflects the continual struggle to account for both. Since third party partnerships will continue to be a business necessity and data privacy regulations will only continue to proliferate, now is the right time to establish a framework for managing both of these priorities.

Australia – My Health Record Exploit: Unauthorized database access My Health Record: Online healthcare portal
gauge indicating moderate risk
Risk to Small Business: 2.778 = Moderate An annual report by the Australian Digital Health Agency uncovered two data breaches related to My Health Record. Strangely, the incidents are several years old, undermining the company’s cybersecurity reputation, which is critical to increasing the healthcare system’s digitization efforts. Attempts to notify victims were unsuccessful, making this a challenging recovery process for all parties.
gauge indicating moderate risk
Individual Risk: 2.890 = Moderate Those impacted by the breach had their names, addresses, dates of birth, and Medicare information exposed. This information could be used to craft convincing spear-phishing emails that target victims’ sensitive data. Therefore, those impacted by the breach should be especially vigilant in assessing the validity of incoming messages.
Customers Impacted: Unknown How it Could Affect Your Customers’ Business: For many companies, digitalization is a top priority. This incident is a reminder that data security and technological advancement always need to go hand-in-hand. Otherwise, the former will undermine the latter, and everyone will suffer.
Risk Levels: 1 – 1.5 = Extreme Risk 1.51 – 2.49 = Severe Risk 2.5 – 3 = Moderate Risk *The risk score is calculated using a formula that considers a wide range of factors related to the assessed breach.

In Other News

Online Retailers See Surge in Cyberattacks Amidst COVID-19 Crisis   

The COVID-19 pandemic has relegated many of us to our homes, leaving businesses with few opportunities to reach their customers and make sales. Online shopping has become a vital lifeline for thousands of businesses while brick and mortar locations are closed and millions of people shelter in place. In fact, many retailers are experiencing online traffic that is exceeding Cyber Monday activity, typically a high watermark for online shopping. Unfortunately, bad actors are capitalizing on this moment by targeting e-commerce platforms for attack using tricks like account takeovers, bot-powered scraping attacks, and payment card skimming malware. For example, 80% of login incidences at home goods retailers are attributed to account takeover attempts. While a litany of COVID-19-related cyber risks has become increasingly apparent, it’s clear that online retailers need to be especially critical of their defensive posture to ensure that they can continue meeting surging demand in an uncertain retail atmosphere in order to retain customer goodwill and capture enough revenue to stay afloat in a challenging time for retail.

Need To Know

Less Than Half of Businesses Provide Cybersecurity Training 

According to a recent study, less than half of UK businesses provide cybersecurity training to all employees, and 65% of IT security decision-makers view their organization as complacent when it comes to securing customer data. At the same time, the study found that correcting those issues is essential for ensuring data security. Closing the gap between best practices and actual implementation is especially important now that COVID-19 has produced many novel cybersecurity threats that even the most well-trained and cybersecurity-savvy employees might not be prepared to thwart. We are also ready to support your data security initiatives with best-in-class cybersecurity training that includes training your staff to spot and repel phishing attacks, the most common tactic that cybercriminals employ to gain entry to the heart of your business. Our affordable, scalable solutions can be deployed in a flash and quickly customized to work for any company, enabling you to rapidly pivot to meet today’s needs and be well positioned for tomorrow.
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