In mid-May, the Russian government (quietly) published a report revealing that foreign hackers had successfully compromised the Russian Government’s cyber systems. The report suggests that sophisticated hackers were pursuing the interests of a foreign state or that they were backed by a particular state but makes no statement as to who may have been behind it.Read More
In these unprecedented times, where travel around the globe is primarily halted as nations get to grips with controlling the outbreak of COVID-19, many would think it couldn’t get any worse for travel companies. However, they would be wrong, as according to an article from ITNews, American travel management giant CWT has reportedly paid a whopping 414 bitcoin, equivalent to a value of 4.5 Million USD (approximately 6.3 Million AUD), to hackers who successfully exfiltrated over 2 terabytes of sensitive corporate files.
According to the Article, the successful hackers used a strain of ransomware referred to as “Ragnar Locker” which places computer files into a virtual prison through encryption and renders them unusable until the victim pays for the keys. Then in CWT had to negotiate in a public chat forum to pay for the release. It gives us a rare insight into the dialogue that followed. CWT negotiated the hackers down from their initial demand of 10 Million USD. According to the Report, whilst the hackers claimed to have stolen over 2 terabytes of files including financial reports, security documents and employees’ personal data, it was not clear whether any customer data was compromised.Read More
Intelligence experts KELA recently announced that almost 500,000 customer records of different car suppliers were being offered for sale on the dark web by hacking group “KelvinSecurity Team”.
According to reports, almost 400,000 UK based BMW customers’ data is being sold on the online black market. This data includes the initials and surnames of car owners, home addresses, email addresses, the names of dealerships and car-registration information. The data of Mercedes, SEAT, Honda and Hyundai car owners also form part of the compromised customer records.Read More
It has been reported that hackers have accessed and stolen details of about 9 million customers of British airline easyJet. Approximately 2,208 easyJet customers have also had their credit card details accessed and stolen.
easyJet reported that it became aware of this “highly sophisticated” cyberattack in late January this year. After an investigation, the airline recently disclosed that the details accessed and stolen by the hackers included email addresses, travel information, and credit card data including CVV numbers.Read More
Ransom-based hacking techniques have primarily been limited to the intangible. We live in a world where unauthorised access to email accounts, bank accounts, and computer systems that may otherwise be private is no longer uncommon.
In some situations, hackers demand a lump sum in return for reinstating control of the accounts and systems to its owners and managers, and otherwise refusing to pay this ransom can likely leave our information and data at the mercy of hackers.Read More
We are living in an era of online shopping, where consumers are more willing to hand over personal information for goods and services, and are less suspicious of whom they are divulging their personal information to. As a result, online businesses are in possession of a vast amount of their customers’ personal information. The recent hack of Sneaker Platform Stock-X reminds us yet again of the importance of businesses maintaining comprehensive and up to date security processes, and in particular, the necessity of having an adequate data breach response plan in place.
Stock-X, a platform for the re-sale of sneakers and apparel, was recently hacked, exposing over six million users’ personal data, including their real name, username, password, shoe size and trading currency. According to a Report by TechCrunch, Stock-X’s initial response was to reset customer passwords, stating that it was due to system updates. A spokesperson for Stock-X later disclosed to TechCruch that Stock-X was alerted to “suspicious activity”. TechCrunch reports; however, an unnamed data breach seller had contacted it claiming more than 6.8 million records were stolen from Stock-X in May, and that the records had been put up for sale and sold on the dark web for $300.Read More
A recent Wall Street Journal Report has detailed how America’s utility grid was hacked. The Department of Homeland Security has named Russia as responsible for the overwhelmingly complex and threatening campaign.
The scheme targeted energy companies affiliated with the government and was carried out in a sophisticated manner by initially focusing on small firms within the utility supply chain.
Early techniques involved planting malware on the websites of online publications likely to be read by employees of companies within the energy sector. The hackers would lace the online publications with malicious content allowing them to steal usernames, passwords and infiltrate company systems.
A number of small firms fell victim to these tactics giving the hackers broad access to company networks. Fake emails were subsequently sent out on behalf of the affected firms containing forged and malicious Dropbox links which captured usernames, passwords and other credentials. Further they used fake personas to send emails and pretended to be job seekers, by sending resumes containing tainted attachments to energy companies.
The hackers continued this technique of sending malware emails on behalf of firms until they reached the top of the supply chain. It was reported that on at least 8 occasions the hackers infiltrated companies who had access to the industrial control systems that run the grid.
An alarming aspect was the number of affected companies that remained oblivious of the penetration. The report is a useful description of the variety of methods used to tempt employees to expose their credentials. All too easy to do. These same techniques are regularly used by more pedestrian hackers. Two factor authentication and regular password resets remain measures to limit these threats but so many organisations do not use them.
We repeatedly counsel that employees are the last line of defence for your organisation. Circulating the Report may make an interesting read to remind them of the variety of ways they can be seduced to click an incorrect link.
A 20 year old German man orchestrated a serious and sophisticated data breach which affected more than 1000 people.
The attack was focused on German and European politicians at all levels including German Chancellor Angela Merkel, President Frank Walter Steinmeier and hundreds of public figures and celebrities.
The 20 year old hacker took to Twitter to drip feed the information depicted as an advent calendar by releasing new data each day in December. Information exposed included contact details, credit card and financial information, chat records, photographs and other personal information.
Reuters’ reported that the hacker is a student who lives at home with his parents, has no formal computer education and was motivated by irritation over statements made by politicians and public figures.
The widespread nature of this attack has resulted in a number of government officials calling for tighter laws.
It is clear that no-one is safe from a data breach – even those elected representatives who enact the laws designed to protect against them.