Cyber Alert Monday 4-13-2020 – Malware Targets

Last week, ransomware slows COVID-19 treatment development, malware targets online shoppers, and phishing scams jump by 667% in a month. 

50,000 companies have been impacted by payment skimming malware

United States – Social Bluebook

Exploit: Unauthorized database access 
Social Bluebook: Social media platform

Risk to Small Business: 2.117 = Severe

Cybercriminals ex-filtrated a company database containing personal information from thousands of internet influencers. Embarrassingly, the breach, which occurred in October 2019, was identified by TechCrunch reporters who were sent a copy of the stolen database. In a statement, the company claimed to be ignorant of the breach, raising serious questions about the efficacy of its cybersecurity strategy. This incident is likely to have significant blowback from well-connected influencers on social media and invite regulatory scrutiny on many fronts.

Individual Risk: 2.122 = Severe

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: 217,000

How it Could Affect Your Customers’ Business: Hackers frequently target social media influencers because of their large public following. Therefore, companies catering to this clientele need to be prepared to protect their users’ valuable personal data. If they can’t, these influencers will almost certainly tell their followers all about it, a principle that applies to a growing number of consumers in every sector.

United States – Ozark Orthopedics 

Exploit: Phishing scam
Ozark Orthopedics: Orthopedic healthcare practice

Risk to Small Business: 2.113 = Severe

Four employees fell for a phishing scam and gave hackers access to email accounts containing patient data. The scope of the data breach that occurred in late 2019 was just released by the healthcare provider, creating questions about the practice’s cybersecurity practices. As a result, patients were unable to quickly take steps to protect their identities and Ozark Orthopedics has opened itself up to regulatory scrutiny that could result in substantial financial penalties.

Individual Risk: 1.775 = Severe

Patients’ personally identifiable information was exposed in the breach, including their names, treatment information, Medicare or Medicaid identification numbers, Social Security numbers, and financial account information. In the wrong hands, this information can be used in a litany of financial or identity-related crimes. Those impacted by the breach should immediately enroll in credit and identity monitoring services to secure their personal information.

Customers Impacted: 15,240

How it Could Affect Your Customers’ Business: More than a trillion phishing emails are sent each year, some of which will inevitably make their way into your employees’ inboxes. Training employees to spot these scams is especially important to protect your company from a devastating data breach.

United States – 10x Genomics Inc.  

Exploit: Ransomware
10x Genomics Inc.: Biotechnology company

Risk to Small Business: 2.206 = Severe

A ransomware attack disrupted operations at the biotechnology company, which is currently acting as part of a consortium working to quickly develop a treatment for COVID-19. Before encrypting IT, hackers exfiltrated company data. Although the company reports “no material day-to-day impact,” it’s unclear what the implications are for the stolen data or how this could impact its development of a COVID-19 treatment.   

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 – GoDaddy 

Exploit: Phishing scam
GoDaddy: Internet domain registrar

Risk to Small Business: 2.313 = Severe

A spear phishing attack tricked a customer service employee into providing information that ultimately allowed hackers to view and modify customer records. As a result, several GoDaddy clients, including, which provides escrow services for several prominent websites, were impacted. The breach will have costly implications for both GoDaddy and its customers, who will have to decide if they want to continue partnering with a company that puts their sensitive data at risk.  

Individual Risk: At this time, no personal information was compromised in the breach. 

Customers Impacted: Unknown

How it Could Affect Your Customers’ Business:  Today’s online ecosystem is vast and interconnected. This incident is a reminder that failures at other companies can have significant implications for your own, which increases the importance of securing accounts to buttress your IT infrastructure against potential failure at third-party contractors. With simple cybersecurity features, like two-factor authentication, company accounts remain secure even when credentials or login information is exposed.

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:

Healthcare Data Breaches See Significant Increase 

In late 2019, we wrote about the connection between healthcare data and the Dark Web, noting a troubling trend that saw bad actors increasingly targeting patient data. Unfortunately, that trend has only accelerated with the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic that is pushing healthcare providers to their limits.

A study of the Department of Health and Human Services’ HIPAA breach reporting tool found 105 breaches impacting 2.5 million patients. However, before February 19th, only 38 incidents and 1.1 million records were affected. Cybercriminals have upped their game to take advantage of the chaotic situation on the ground, and healthcare organizations need to be prepared.

Notably, the study found that hacking incidents are, by far, the leading cause of data breaches. Many included various forms of email account compromise. Moreover, the report predicts that, as more employees work from home, incidents of phishing attacks will increase because employees are more likely to fall for scams when they are isolated at home. Fortunately, a comprehensive employee awareness campaign can thwart these attacks, helping ensure that healthcare providers are focused on patient care rather than being inundated with cybersecurity threats.

A Note From Kobargo

Phishing Scams Have Spiked by 667% in One Month

The global COVID-19 response has required millions of workers to work from home. When coupled with a general sense of unease and uncertainty, the situation has created a perfect environment for cybercriminals to execute phishing scams. As a result, the number of phishing emails has increased by 667% in the past month.     

According to an assessment of 468,000 phishing emails, 2% were directly related to COVID-19. Meanwhile, 54% were labeled as scams, 34% as brand impersonation attacks, and 11% as blackmail. In addition, many are luring clicks by claiming to sell cures, face masks, and other critical supplies.  

For businesses, the implications are clear. Nobody can afford a data breach in this environment. Now is the right time to update and reemphasize phishing scam awareness training to ensure that employees can repel these damaging cyberattacks.   

Contact Kobargo Technology Partners to schedule a free consultation today!



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