The Week in Breach: 07/15/20-07/21/20 | CloudSmart IT

The Week in Breach: 07/15/20-07/21/20

This week even tech giants have basic cybersecurity woes and third-party data breaches put every business at risk.

Dark Web ID’s Top Threats

  • Top Source Hits: ID Theft Forum
  • Top Compromise Type: Domain
  • Top Industry: Finance & Insurance
  • Top Employee Count: 251-500

Cybersecurity News: United States 

United States – Twitter

Exploit: Account Compromise 

Twitter: Social Media Platform 

cybersecurity news gauge indicating extreme risk

Risk to Small Business: 1.216 = Extreme

The hack heard ‘round the world this week is a huge embarrassment for social media powerhouse Twitter, after dozens of high-profile accounts were accessed illegally and used to transmit messages inviting their followers to “invest” in a bitcoin scam. Some of the affected accounts included Bill Gates, Barack Obama, Elon Musk, and Jeff Bezos. The hack was quickly discovered, and those accounts were frozen briefly while Twitter assessed and fixed the security flaw. Twitter is now reporting that the hackers targeted 130 accounts, were able to take control of 45, and 8 accounts had data downloaded. While early reports speculated on the threat actors as a sophisticated hacking group, The New York Times uncovered that the attack was actually carried out by a few unorganized hackers using a Discord server who obtained access through a “social engineering attack”. The attack is under investigation by numerous authorities including the FBI.

cybersecurity news represented by a gauge indicating moderate risk

Individual Risk: 2.890 = Moderate

The hackers were able to obtain some personal information and change passwords for some of the celebrity accounts, but did not gain access to any financial information, past password records, or other sensitive data in all but 8 cases. Those 8 cases are still being investigated, but it’s unlikely that any sensitive data was compromised. 

Customers Impacted: 130

How it Could Affect Your Business: A “social engineering attack” is often just a fancy way of saying “phishing attack”. Failing to protect sensitive communications and data channels for your clients because of failing to undertake basic training in phishing resistance will not only cause an expensive recovery when an attack lands, it can also be embarrassing. Plus, the potential regulatory scrutiny is bound to be a headache and give ammunition to those who are looking to add more regulation to social media platforms through future legislation.

United States – BlackBaud

Exploit: Ransomware

BlackBaud: Cloud Services & Financial Technology 

cybersecurity & breach news represented by a gauge showing severe risk

Risk to Small Business: 2.177 = Severe

BlackBaud admitted that its’ success in preventing a recent ransomware attack in May 2020 wasn’t quite as straightforward as it seemed. It turns out that they did pay a ransom to the hackers, but not to decrypt files. The ransom was paid to prevent the release of the stolen data in an increasingly popular double-extortion ransomware scheme. The cloud provider, which primarily works with non-profits, foundations, educational charities, and healthcare organizations, said the incident only impacted the data of only a small subset of its customers, which they have now notified. 

cybersecurity news represented by a gauge indicating moderate risk

Individual Risk: 2.797 = Moderate

According to BlackBaud’s statement about the incident,  no credit card information, bank account information, or Social Security numbers were stolen.  

Customers Impacted: Unknown

How it Could Affect Your Business Ransomware is the bane of every company in today’s threat environment. Improved security awareness training, especially around phishing threats, is the best way for companies to quickly boost their defenses against ransomware.

United States –

Exploit: Unsecured Database Entertainment Staffing Platform 

cybersecurity & breach news represented by a gauge showing severe risk

Risk to Small Business: 1.643 = Severe

Researchers discovered an unsecured Elasticsearch database owned by and filled with information about clients of the casting agency, including current and aspiring actors. It’s estimated that the breach started on May 31 and wasn’t addressed until mid-June. The New Orleans based company acted quickly after they were informed of the problem, but still suffered a breach estimated to be 1GB in size, with over 260,000 user profiles leaked of clients, actors, and members of staff, including minors. 

cybersecurity news represented by agauge showing severe risk

Individual Risk: 2.349 = Severe

The leak included names, physical addresses, email addresses, phone numbers, work histories, dates of birth, height and weight, ethnicity, and physical descriptions. Anyone with a profile at the platform should be alert for potential identity theft and spear phishing attempts.  

Customers Impacted: 260,000 

How it Could Affect Your Business:  Failure to secure a database is a rookie move, and no company’s clients are going to look at that kindly – especially when that failure involved children. Customers today are concerned about data privacy, and more aware of Dark Web danger than they used to be – and they will not want to continue doing business with companies that can’t keep their information safe.

United States – LiveAuctioneers

Exploit: Unauthorized Database Access 

LiveAuctioneers: Online Antiques Auction House 

cybersecurity news represented by agauge showing severe risk

Risk to Small Business: 2.172 = Severe

LiveAuctioneers has reported a major data breach courtesy of one of its third-party data processing partners. The company first noted the incident on July 10, 2020, after monitors spotted Dark Web posts advertising the sale of the company’s records company records of 3.4 million LiveAuctioneers users, as well as three million cracked username and password combinations. 

cybersecurity news represented by agauge showing severe risk

Individual Risk: 2.172 = Severe

While no financial data has been reported as compromised, the investigation is still ongoing. Those affected have been notified via email. Every user should reset their account password and be alert to potential identity theft.  

Customers Impacted: 3.4 million 

How it Could Affect Your Business:  Third party risk is a growing menace that’s hard for businesses to overcome. By maintaining a constant watch on Dark Web markets, businesses can get notified when credentials, including those used in accounts at third party partners, suffer a breach, lowering their risk of compromise from the stolen information.

Cybersecurity News: United Kingdom

United Kingdom – Tesco

Exploit: Phishing/Impersonation

Tesco: Grocery Retailer

cybersecurity news represented by a gauge indicating moderate risk

Risk to Small Business: 2.877 = Moderate

Retail giant Tesco was recently used as a front for an elaborate phishing operation that used a fake Facebook page as well as SMS and email communication to trick consumers into handing over their details and steal confidential and payment data as part of a fake giveaway for a  new HD TV. Facebook users who shared the post helped it spread. Victims received an email offering them the chance to “register to claim their prize. A button in the message then linked victims to a landing page to enter their name, home address, telephone number, and bank account details. 

cybersecurity news represented by a gauge indicating moderate risk

Individual Risk: 2.667 = Moderate

The Facebook portion of the scam was shut down quickly, but some consumers did fall for the email, providing bad actors with personal and financial data, and the scam may still be circulating via email. 

Customers Impacted: Unknown

How it Could Affect Your Business: In a booming Dark Web economy, everything is for sale. Your client’s brand is just as valuable as their data. Digital risk protection can’t stop impersonation schemes, but it can prevent bad actors from masquerading as your client in Dark Web forums or on social media if your client is alerted to the problem quickly enough.

Cybersecurity News – European Union

France – Orange

Exploit: Ransomware  

Orange: Telecom Provider 

cybersecurity news represented by agauge showing severe risk

Risk to Small Business: 2.323 = Severe

French telecommunications giant Orange has confirmed that they suffered a data breach affecting customers in their Orange Business Services Division. The Nefilim ransomware group added Orange to its data leak site on July 15, 2020. Orange noted that it was quickly able to mitigate the attack and stop the leak, but some business clients had their data captured by the hackers. No mention of a ransom or payment was released by Orange.   

Individual Risk: No individual personal or financial data has been reported as compromised, but no details have been released about the contents of those 20 compromised enterprise accounts.  

Customers Impacted: Unknown

How it Could Affect Your Business: Ransomware is everywhere these days, and cybercriminals are often choosing to make more targeted attacks than in the past to lower their chances of quick detection. Every company needs to make defending against ransomware a top security training priority.

Belgium – Argenta Bank

Exploit: Malware 

Argenta Bank: Banking and Financial Services 

cybersecurity news represented by agauge showing severe risk

Risk to Small Business: 1.778 = Severe

Argenta Bank is the latest victim of an increasingly popular malware attack, jackpotting. In these schemes, cybercriminals infect operating systems for ATM machines, turning them into free money fountains. These very precise attacks require specific knowledge and technical skills, and the machines affected were manufactured by Diebold Nixdorf. The bank was forced to turn off 143 machines at various times over two days. 

Individual Risk: No consumer personal or financial data was reported as stolen in this breach.

Customers Impacted: Unknown

How it Could Affect Your Business: Sophisticated attacks that require specialized information are becoming more common as attackers seek maximum profit from minimum work and malicious insiders offering cybercrime services like access credentials“as a service” become more common. Guarding against insider threats helps reduce the chance of this kind of crime. 

Cybersecurity News – Australia & New Zealand

Australia – Western Australia Department of Health

Exploit: Unauthorized Database Access 

Western Australia Department of Health: Government Agency 

cybersecurity news represented by agauge showing severe risk

Risk to Small Business: 2.227 = Severe

Confidential data from the state’s Department of Health was made publicly available on a website after it was distributed over a third-party paging service. Security researchers discovered that a website was recently set up which provided confidential information about Western Australian patients and doctors, including those with suspected COVID-19 infections. The State Government and Western Australia Police are working to have the site taken down, but it was still up as of a recent check.  

cybersecurity news represented by a gauge indicating moderate risk

Individual Risk: 2.623 = Moderate

No financial information was reported stolen, but sensitive health data may have been compromised. Affected users should be alert for potential spear phishing attempts or blackmail using this data. 

Customers Impacted: Unknown

How it Could Affect Your Business: Health data is extremely valuable right now, especially COVID-19 related data. Both private companies and international threat actors are paying top dollar for research and treatment data as healthcare organizations race to find a lucrative vaccine or treatment that works against COVID-19. This incident combines a third-party data breach with a reliance on outdated technology to create trouble.  

Cybersecurity News: South America

Argentina – Telecom Argentina

Exploit: Ransomware 

Telecom Argentina: Telecom and Internet Service Provider

cybersecurity news represented by agauge showing severe risk

Risk to Small Business: 2.870 = Severe

REvil gang attackers made a bold foray into Telecom Argentina last week, culminating in successfully gaining entry to an internal Domain Administration account, giving them free access to deploy their ransomware payload to more than 18,000 workstations. The company moved quickly to combat the incident, and alerted workers to the danger of potentially corporate network, not to connect to its internal VPN network, and not open emails containing archive files. 

Individual Risk: No individual personal or financial data is reported as affected at this time. 

Customers Impacted: Unknown

How it Could Affect Your Business: Administrator accounts are often compromised through whaling, a type of phishing – and an expressway for cybercriminals to race into the heart of a business. Combat that risk by putting extra protections in place like multifactor authentication that help keep administrator accounts safe. 

Cybersecurity News: Asia

Hong Kong – UFO VPN 

Exploit: Unsecured Database 

UFO VPN: Virtual Private Network Host/ Provider 

cybersecurity news gauge indicating extreme risk

Risk to Small Business: 1.086 = Extreme

Users who were relying on VPN provider UFO for a safe, anonymous way to secure their communications and data got a nasty surprise this week. Researchers uncovered more than 20 million user logs from the company available on the Dark Web. It’s a double reputation blow for a VPN provider that claims to retain no login or usage information. The 894 GB database was reportedly hosted on an Elasticsearch cluster that was not even password protected.  The data allegedly included plaintext passwords, IP addresses, timestamps of user connections, session tokens, device information, and user operating system types, along with geographical information in the form of tags. 

cybersecurity news represented by agauge showing severe risk

Individual Risk: 1.910 = Severe

Anyone who has used the service for a VPN should be concerned about compromise, spear phishing, identity theft, blackmail, or fraud connected to this event.  

How it Could Affect Your Business: Securing a remote workforce can be complex, especially as communications tools become more easily compromised, like messaging and SMS text. One common security measure that companies take when setting up for remote work is encouraging staffers to connect through a VPN. Failing to adequately investigate the safety record of that VPN provider could create additional risk instead of decreasing it.

Risk Levels

1 – 1.5 = Extreme Risk
1.51 – 2.49 = Severe Risk
2.5 – 3 = Moderate Risk

Risk scores for The Week in Breach are calculated using a formula that considers a wide range of factors related to the assessed breach.

Added Intelligence

Does Remote Work Really Increase Cyberattack Risks? 

It’s long been debated whether remote work demonstrably increases the risk of a cyberattack. As we move through the pandemic, we’re all taking part in an unexpected experiment in remote working – and we’re just starting to see if the increased risk that’s often associated with remote work is fact or fiction. 

The third Global Threat Report is out, and it’s got some important data to consider when debating the risk of remote work or securing a remote workforce. According to researchers, 91% of executives surveyed believe that remote work has placed their companies at higher risk for a cyberattack, with a high incidence of phishing attempts named as the biggest factor that drove that opinion.  

The study, conducted in March and April of 2020, found that 85% of the surveyed executives (chief information officers, chief technology officers, and chief information security officers) felt that breach risks were too high because their workforce had not been properly equipped, trained, or secured to work from home, with 28% citing severe known gaps in security.

Over 29% of the surveyed executives cited a lack of multifactor authentication as the biggest threat facing their organization, rising to 50% for companies in the financial services sector, and 46% for companies with 251-500 employees. COVID-19 related malware was reported by 43% of respondents as the biggest perceived threat organizations with 50-250 employees. 

Need to Know

Multifactor Authentication is a Security Must-Have in 2020

Today’s risk landscape is more complicated than ever. There’s a new danger to your systems and data lurking around every corner, and a new solution that you need to buy to mitigate it. Third-party data breaches are a constant worry not to mention the risk that comes from staff password recycling, or unintentional insider threats like falling for a phishing attack. So how can you provide an extra layer of security against most risks without spending a fortune? 

Multifactor authentication (MFA). Adding MFA on every user account us a fast, easy way to secure your company’s entry points. Even if cybercriminals are able to obtain a credential that would allow them access to your systems and data from an outside source, that credential isn’t going to do them any good without an authentication token like a code that’s sent to the real account holder’s cellphone. 

It’s wise to put a complete suite of digital risk protection solutions in place but you may need to economize. That makes cost-effective, multifunctional tools like Passly the ideal choice. By combining MFA with single sign-on, remote management, and seamless integration with over 100 common business applications, Passly gives a high return on investment and a high level of protection – because no one can afford a data breach in this economy.   

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