Data Breach, Cyber Alert Monday 3-30-2020 Cybercrime

Last week, cybercrime makes COVID-19 recovery more difficult, unsecured databases give away millions of records, and resources you need to protect data during this challenging time. 

Cyberattacks on employees

Switzerland – World Health Organization

Exploit: Phishing scam
World Health Organization: United Nations agency responsible for international public health  

Risk to Small Business: 1.888= Severe:

Hospital workers are receiving an email purportedly from Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, director of the World Health Organization (WHO). The email contains a personalized message using the recipients’ valid username and an innocuous-looking attachment. Unfortunately, it’s a phishing attack –  when the attachment is opened, it installs malware capable of stealing credentials from the computer. According to cybersecurity researchers, the messages specifically prey on the altruism of recipients, by purporting to include information about novel, preventative drugs and COVD-19 cures.

Individual Risk: 2.571 = Moderate:

At this time, there are no reports of recipients falling for this scam. However, anyone who does click on the attachment has likely allowed malware to compromise their credentials. In that case, they should immediately take steps to remove the malware, reset account passwords, and notify their employers of the incident.  

Customers Impacted: Unknown.

How it Could Affect Your Customers’ Business: In 2020, clever spear-phishing emails are par for the course when it comes to anticipated attack vectors, and the bad guys are making them look more authentic all the time. Rather than allowing employees to fall for these scams, possibly compromising company and customer data along the way, keep them alert for trouble by providing regular phishing scam awareness training that accounts for the latest trends and encompasses all of the possible vulnerabilities.
**We've learned that even more cyberattacks have been mounted against WHO during this crisis, easily double the usual number. A group of hackers known as DarkHotel is suspected in one of the most major recent live attacks. More than 2000 Corona-virus themed websites are being created each day as cybercriminals rush to take advantage of the opportunity to breach data and steal passwords that is presented to them by the chaos of this pandemic.

United States – Open Exchange Rates

Exploit: Unauthorized database access
Open Exchange Rates: Currency data provider

Risk to Small Business: 1.777= Severe:

While investigating a network misconfiguration, Open Exchange Rates discovered that an unauthorized user was accessing their network. Ultimately, it was determined that the hacker had been accessing their database for nearly a month, beginning on February 9, 2020, and ending on March 2, 2020. The company believes that hackers extracted sensitive user information. In response, Open Exchange Rates has disabled the passwords for all accounts created before March 2, 2020.

Individual Risk: 2.285= Severe:

A copious amount of personal data was compromised in the attack, including user names, addresses, encrypted and hashed passwords, IP addresses, country of residence details, and website addresses. In addition to resetting their account passwords and updating their credentials on any other website using the same information, Open Exchange Rates is warning customers that this information can be used to execute targeted spear-phishing attacks. Therefore, those impacted by the breach should carefully monitor their online accounts for suspicious activity.

Customers Impacted: Unknown.

How it Could Affect Your Customers’ Business: Although it’s a relatively small operation, Open Exchange Rates provides an API that is used by several prominent financial service providers. As a result, the costs of repairing this breach will be compounded by reputational damage that could impact its relationship with these critical partners.

United States – TrueFire   

Exploit: Malware attack
TrueFire: Online music school

Risk to Small Business: 1.555= Severe:

On January 10th, TrueFire identified unauthorized access to its database by a mysterious user who was active for more than six months. It’s unclear why the company waited until March to disclose the incident to its customers. The breach compromised users who made online purchases between August 3, 2019, and January 14, 2020. Although the company didn’t explicitly categorize the breach, payment skimming malware is likely responsible for the theft, which included users’ personal and financial data from their online purchases of classes and services.    

Individual Risk: 2.571= Severe:

The breach compromised customers’ personal and financial data, including names, addresses, payment card numbers, card expiration dates, and security codes. TrueFire is encouraging victims to monitor their financial statements for unusual activity, but they should do much more. Those impacted by the breach should immediately notify their financial institutions of the incident, and they should strongly consider enrolling in a credit and identity monitoring service to provide long-term oversight of this critical information. 

Customers Impacted: Unknown

How it Could Affect Your Customers’ Business: Customers increasingly prefer shopping online rather than going to physical stores. Especially now, as the COVID-19 pandemic forces people to stay home, online stores are a vital lifeline for SMBs to continue generating revenue while people stay off the streets. Therefore, protecting the checkout process must be a top priority, as many customers will be gone for good if their personal or financial data is compromised through mishandled data on the merchant’s end when they make online purchases.

United States – College of Dupage  

Exploit: Accidental data exposure 
College of Dupage: Academic institution

Risk to Small Business: 1.555= Severe:

The College of Dupage accidentally exposed the 2018 W-2 forms of current and former employees. In a statement, the school identified the risk of data misuse as low. In reality, even one cybercriminal misusing this information could pose significant consequences for a potential victim. The breach occurred as the College of Dupage is preparing to move its services online due to the spread of COVID-19, forcing the cancellation of in-person classes – a  timely reminder that in uncertain times information security will still be top-of-mind for end-users, whether they are consumers, staffers, patients, or students. 

Individual Risk: 2.142= Severe:

W-2 forms contain personally identifiable information, including names, addresses, and Social Security numbers. College of Dupage is offering free identity monitoring services to those impacted by the breach, and victims should take advantage of it to ensure that their information remains secure both now and in the future.  

Customers Impacted: 1,775

How it Could Affect Your Customers’ Business: In response to the incident, the College of Dupage is updating its data management standards to prevent a similar incident from occurring in the future. Unfortunately, these updated protocols will not undo the damage for the nearly 2,000 victims of this data breach. Rather than waiting until a cybersecurity incident occurs, companies should prioritize a reevaluation of their practices to ensure that customer and company data is secure before a breach occurs.

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:

Canadian Healthcare System Inundated by Cybercrime Attacks 

The stress created by an emergency like the Coronavirus pandemic is a golden opportunity for hackers. As the Canadian healthcare system grapples with surging treatment demands related to COVID-19, their IT systems are also grappling with a significant uptick in cyberattacks from bad actors trying to steal data and breach systems at healthcare organizations in a critical time.  

The threat is so severe that some organizations have called on the government to enact national cybersecurity standards and provide emergency funding to help defend patient data. We’ve reported on several Canadian health institutions impacted by data breaches this year, and in 2019, nearly half of all Canadian data breaches were healthcare-related.

According to several officials, many Canadian healthcare providers are midway through their cybersecurity upgrade roadmaps. Their slow progress means that many of their defenses are outdated and inadequate to meet today’s quickly evolving threats to data and systems.

Don’t wait for your organization’s Doomsday scenario to unfold. Get support now to prevent phishing scams, malware, and other cyber threats from compromising company data. Partnering with cybersecurity experts can help you get your defenses against cyberattacks up to speed faster before a breach occurs.


A Note From Kobargo

How to Avoid Data Breaches While Working From Home

The COVID-19 pandemic has reshaped the way we work practically overnight, as many people are working from home for the foreseeable future. Unfortunately, bad actors are taking advantage of these circumstances by increasing phishing attacks targeting home workers. Taking action now to secure your data and keep your staff alert about threats is the best way to protect your company’s data and systems from opportunistic cybercriminals.   

According to a recent assessment, Italy saw a sharp spike in phishing scams as workers quickly shifted from in-office work to home-based arrangements. Around the globe, more than 40% of all workers are currently working from home, a significant jump even in just the past week. In addition to phishing scams, cybersecurity researchers identified a spike in malicious remote access attempts.  

Cybercriminals are taking advantage of the jump in employees teleworking to mask their activity and gain access to company data. The US Department of Homeland Security recommends that organizations remain vigilant about equipping employees to identify phishing scams and that they enable two-factor authentication to protect accounts from unauthorized access. 

At ID Agent, we recognize that this is a uniquely challenging time for your organization and your employees. To address your data security concerns in these quickly changing times, we’ve compiled several resources to help your data stay safe. If we can be of service, don’t hesitate to reach out. Throughout this crisis, we are committed to keeping your company and customer information secure. 

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