Data Breach, Cyber Alert Monday 08-26-2019




Grays Harbor Community Hospital: Healthcare provider operating as part of the Harbor Medical Group

Exploit: Ransomware

Risk to Small Business: 1.666 = Severe: After an employee accidentally clicked on a phishing email, cybercriminals were able to infect the hospital’s IT infrastructure with ransomware that impacted the provider’s access to medical records, prescription information, and more services, including payment processing. The hackers demanded $1 million to unlock the files, a significant sum that places a serious strain on the cash-strapped hospital. While it’s unclear if the hospital paid the ransom, officials noted that restricted cash flow will threaten the organization’s future financial viability..

Individual Risk: 2.142 = Severe: While there is no evidence that personal data was collected as part of the breach, sensitive patient information, including medical records, demographic information, insurance information, medical history, medical treatment, and billing information could have been made accessible to unauthorized third-parties. Since personally identifiable information can quickly make its way to the Dark Web, where it can be used to facilitate additional cybercrimes, those impacted by the breach should acquire monitoring services to secure this information.

Customers Impacted: 85,000

How it Could Affect Your Business: Ransomware is much more than a temporary inconvenience. The astounding costs surrounding repair, restoration, or even ransom payments can significantly impact a company’s ability to continue operating. Once ransomware takes hold of a company’s IT infrastructure, every path forward is expensive and fraught with difficulties. Therefore, identifying and addressing vulnerabilities before they enable a breach is the only effective way of avoiding the costly aftermath of a ransomware attack.

National Baseball Hall of Fame: American History Museum for Major League Baseball

Exploit: Malicious code script

Risk to Small Business: 1.555 = Severe: The notorious hacking group MageCart infiltrated the National Baseball Hall of Fame, compromising the personal information of customers shopping on their e-commerce store. Hackers had access to shopper information for seven months, beginning in November 2018. The hackers injected a malicious script into the checkout page that forwarded user information to the hacking group. Now, the museum will incur the inevitable repair costs that always accompany a data breach, and the reputational damage to their online store will likely cost them revenue and loyal customers moving forward.

Individual Risk: 2.428 = Severe: MageCart scams steal customer data at checkout, and online shoppers between November 15, 2018 and May 14, 2019 could have their information stolen by the hacking group. This data involves customers’ names, addresses, and payment information, including CVV codes. Customers who made purchases at the online store during this timeframe are encouraged to contact their credit card company and monitor accounts for fraudulent or suspicious activity.

Customers Impacted: Unknown

How it Could Affect Your Business: Online shopping is quickly becoming the go-to buying method for many shoppers, and SMBs rely on this revenue stream to compete with major corporations. Therefore, securing IT infrastructure is critical to stay competitive in today’s digital-first environment. To mitigate the damage after a breach, businesses should strive to provide proactive customer care to ensure that they can quickly and completely recover from a breach.

Camp Verde Unified School District: Public school district serving students in Camp Verde, Arizona

Exploit: Ransomware

Risk to Small Business: 2.111 = Severe: A ransomware attack prevented the school district from accessing its entire network for more than two weeks. The attack’s timing is particularly problematic since it occurred during back-to-school season for the district and its families. Consequently, records and payments are being recorded by hand as the district attempts to continue business as usual. Fortunately, the district has ransomware insurance that will help offset some of the costs, but those resources won’t undo the difficulties incurred by the organization at a critical time for business operations.

Individual Risk: No personal information was compromised in the breach.

Customers Impacted: Unknown

How it Could Affect Your Business:Opportunity cost is a significant factor in a ransomware attack. Many businesses are making arrangements to account for the costs of recovery, but there is no way to avoid losses in productivity and revenue that inevitably occur during a ransomware attack. Therefore, businesses and organizations need to take every precaution to prevent a ransomware attack before it occurs.

Hy-Vee: Supermarket chain with 245 locations throughout the Midwestern United States

Exploit: Unauthorized database access

Risk to Small Business: 1.777 = Severe: Unauthorized activity involving payment processing software compromised transaction data at the company’s fuel pumps, coffee shops, and restaurants. However, card data involving the company’s supermarket check lanes and other payment systems was not impacted by the breach. As a result, the regional company will have to spend considerably to upgrade its cybersecurity standards and absorb the less quantifiable costs in brand erosion.

Individual Risk: 2.428 = Severe: Hy-Vee took steps to eradicate the malicious activity, but the company has not revealed the specific data sets that were compromised in the breach. Given that the event focused on point-of-sale platforms, it’s possible that names and payment information was made available to hackers. Customers should anticipate further developments from the company, but they should carefully monitor their accounts to identify suspicious activity.

Customers Impacted: 15,298

How it Could Affect Your Business: Supporting those impacted by a data breach is the most important responsibility of any company that fails to protect customer data. Having the policies, procedures, and technology in place to quickly respond to a breach can help mitigate the inevitable reputation damage and customer blowback that accompanies a security lapse.

Choice Hotels: Hospitality franchisor based in Rockville, Maryland

Exploit: Ransomware

Risk to Small Business:2 = Severe Risk: An unsecured database for the hospitality company was discovered by security researchers, but cybercriminals stole a trove of company data before Choice Hotels could repair the vulnerability. When repairing the database, researchers discovered a ransom note indicating the data theft and demanding a $4,000 payment in Bitcoin to return the information. Cybersecurity personnel believe that the hackers intended to destroy the entire database, but their efforts failed.

Individual Risk: 2.714 = Moderate Risk: The data breach includes data from staff and students from the years 2001 – 2016, and it includes first and last names, school email addresses, and birth dates. Personal data can travel quickly on the Dark Web, and those impacted by the breach should enroll in the credit monitoring services offered by the district.

Customers Impacted: Unknown

How it Could Your Customers’ Business: Choice Hotels is working to put new security measures in place to prevent something like this from happening again. Unfortunately, once a breach occurs, customer information is readily and permanently available online. Therefore, data security is one of the best customer-facing initiatives that a business can adopt. When mistakes are made, knowing what happens to that information and putting procedures in place to prevent future breaches is a must-have service for any business.

In Other News:

Canadian Government Launches Cybersecurity Certification Program for SMBs 

A recent survey by found that 71% of data breaches occur at small businesses, a prolific problem that the Canadian government is trying to solve. Consequently, they’re instituting an incentive program for SMBs prioritizing cybersecurity initiatives.

The new initiative, CyberSecure Canada, allows organizations to prove that they meet specific security criteria, then awards the organization with a certificate and logo that they can include on their website and promotional material.

To become CyberSecure certified, SMBs must demonstrate compliance with 13 security controls that collectively create a safer internet experience for businesses and their customers. The program strives to encourage Canadian SMBs to spend time and resources on cybersecurity initiatives. Not only will this help shore up their own long-term viability, but it also supports customer data security, a top priority in the digital age.

Interestingly, the survey found that many companies aren’t equipped to defend against these threats. The research found that 64% of small businesses don’t have a security team, and only 1/3 provided cybersecurity training to their employees.

Notably, SMBs don’t have to tackle this priority alone. Partnering with qualified cybersecurity professionals can help augment your cybersecurity posture and transforming weaknesses into strengths.

A Note From Kobargo..

ACSC Warns Australian Small Businesses About BlueKeep VulnerabilityAccording to a warning by the Australian Cyber Security Centre, thousands of Australian SMBs are at risk of being compromised by the BlueKeep vulnerability that can wreak havoc on outdated Windows operating systems.

The warning comes on the heels of a disclosure by a security researcher who revealed a publicly available Remote Desktop Protocol that can scan for unpatched systems.

The ACSC estimates that 50,000 Australian devices are vulnerable to this malady, which is easily defensible using a patch provided in a software update.

Unfortunately, for companies that don’t take advantage of the update, their systems can be easily infiltrated by bad actors who steal and destroy company data.

Software updates are critical for ensuring that your business is protected in an ever-evolving threat landscape. Moreover, cybersecurity specialists (Like us!) can provide a comprehensive view of your cybersecurity readiness posture, ensuring that all vulnerabilities are accounted for.

Contact Kobargo Technology Partners to schedule a free consultation today!



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