Data Breach, Cyber Alert Monday 03-18-2019

Cyber Alert Monday, Data Breach-First they scam you, then they hack you.  Lowlife internet criminals are exploiting your fears about the latest airline crashes and using it to phish you. Plus, it’s a bad week to be a U.S. Surgeon or Dun & Bradstreet as a whole.

Scam Of the Week: Airplane Crash Scam Warning.

Be on the lookout for emails in your inbox from “analysts” about the recent Boeing 737 Max airplane crashes, asking you to notify your loved ones about possible other airlines “that will go down soon”. These emails come with infected attachments that might make it through the filters, either at the office or at your house. Remember to always be alert about email with unknown attachments, and never open an attachment unless you are expecting it from the sender and have confirmed that they have actually sent it to you.

Last week’s Hacks, Attacks, Breaches and More…

Columbia Surgical specialists: Surgical facility in Spokane, Washington.

Exploit: Ransomware attack. Risk to Small Business: Severe: Columbia Surgical Specialists decided to pay almost $15,000 in ransom to unlock files that were encrypted by hackers. After originally discovering the incident on January 9th, the firm hired an outside security firm to mitigate the aftereffects of the attack. Initially, it was believed that 400,000 patients could have been affected, but the number has since then been reduced. Columbia Surgical Specialists explained that their delay in reporting was due to the time needed to analyze information surrounding the breach, and they do not believe that the attackers were able to access patient data. Individual Risk: Severe: Names, drivers’ license numbers, SSNs, and protected health information was impacted in the ransomware attack. However, the outside security firm believes that it is unlikely that the data was exposed in the incident. Customers Impacted: To be determined. How it Could Affect Your Business:  Ransomware is a sticky subject for businesses and can resemble a virtual hostage situation. In the event of an attack, security experts recommend not paying ransoms to hackers, since it incentivizes future exploits and can result in greater demands. To prevent such exploits from occurring in the first place, organizations must partner up with managed security providers. Source

Dun & Bradstreet: Business analytics company based in New Jersey.

Exploit: Trojan spam campaign. Risk to Small Business: Moderate: Emails identified as spam were found attempting to impersonate Dun & Bradstreet’s official website using a lookalike domain. These “complaint” emails contained macros that deliver Trickbot, a damaging trojan that can be leveraged by hackers against banks. However, security researchers were able to uncover the campaign and users have been advised to disable macros from automatically opening in the Word application or open their emails in protected view. Individual Risk: Moderate: If users avoid opening spam emails and attachments, there is limited risk involved. Nevertheless, if the Trickbot trojan installs itself on a computer containing valuable files, all bets are off. Customers Impacted: To be determined. How it Could Affect Your Business: Phishing campaigns are not only growing in sophistication but also their potential impact. Enhancing cybersecurity efforts at your company begins with the first-line of defense: your employees. To protect invaluable assets and customer data, businesses must improve cybersecurity awareness and prepare their workforce for inevitable phishing attacks. Source

Grinnell, Oberlin, and Hamilton Colleges: Three private colleges across the US.

Exploit: System breaches and ransom schemes. Risk to Small Business: Severe: College applicants across Grinnell, Oberlin, and Hamilton are receiving ransom notes from hackers who claim to have access to their files. The only common thread that the three colleges share is a third-party data system known as Slate, which helps track applicant data, but security experts do not believe the company was at fault. Information that was allegedly hacked included personal information, along with notes from admissions officers and acceptance decisions. Although two of the colleges have stated that financial information was encrypted and not exposed, all three will likely face reputational damages and a downtrend in applications. Individual Risk: Severe: If the hackers are unable to generate profit from the ransom schemes, they will most likely turn to the Dark Web or orchestrate identity theft themselves. Applicants are at high risk unless authorities can pinpoint and mitigate the source of the breach. Customers Impacted: To be determined. How it Could Affect Your Business: As the higher education vertical continues to grow more competitive for students, such a breach can be crippling for any institution. News of college applicants being hacked can cause serious concerns for prospective students and even result in turnover amongst current ones. To draw the parallel to small business, having a lead generation system breached can be similarly catastrophic to any company. The first step to containing such an incident should be to understand whether hackers truly have access to customer data, and whether they are trying to sell it. One way to accomplish this is to proactively monitor the Dark Web for stolen customer data. Source.

Rush University Medical Center: Academic medical center in Chicago, IL.

Exploit: Third-party breach. Risk to Small Business: Severe: After unearthing a massive data breach on January 22nd, the hospital revoked its contract with an IT vendor and launched an investigation. Patients whose data was compromised were notified, but Rush maintains that the data was not misused after the incident. Although the institution has offered one-year identity protection and breach helplines, this is the second security incident that Rush has suffered within the last year, causing patients and caregivers to reconsider their selection in care providers. Individual Risk: Severe: According to a financial filing by the medical center, compromised data included names, addresses, birthdays, SSNs, health insurance information, and even medical data. Patients should enroll in identity protection immediately and continue to monitor their accounts for fraudulent activity. Customers Impacted: 45,000 How it Could Affect Your Business: Back-to-back breaches produce adverse effects on customer retention, and this is especially true in healthcare. As patients grow increasingly cyber-vigilant, it is only a matter of time until they will evaluate security when choosing their care providers. By partnering with the right MSPs, businesses can avoid breaches while building rapport with their customers. Source. Protect your business from a Data Breach. Contact Kobargo Technology Partners to schedule a free consultation today! 



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