Data Breach, Cyber Alert Monday 1-27-2020

Last week, phishing scams cost millions, oversights compromise customer data, and Magecart targets Australian brushfire donors. 

United States - LimeLeads

Exploit: Unsecured database
LimeLeads: B2B lead generation service

Risk to Small Business: 2 = SevereLimeLeads failed to secure an internal server, allowing a prominent threat actor to acquire and subsequently sell the company’s data on the Dark Web. The data breach could have significant implications for the company, whose business model centers around brokering company data for marketing initiatives. Security researchers found that the database was publicly exposed since at least July 27, 2019, meaning that the company had ample time to secure the database before bad actors became involved. Now they must grapple with crippling losses, including the less quantifiable brand erosion that accompanies a data breach.

Individual Risk: 2.428 = SevereCompany data has been for sale since October 2019, spanning across personally identifiable information such as their names, titles, email addresses, employer/company names, addresses, phone numbers, and even total revenue numbers. This information can be strategically deployed in spear-phishing attacks, so those impacted by the breach should be especially critical of online communications while also closely monitoring their accounts for suspicious or unusual information.

Customers Impacted: Unknown

How it Could Affect Your Customers’ Business: Customers and companies are increasingly unwilling to partner with organizations that can’t secure their data. Consequently, avoidable data breaches are an especially egregious way to compromise a company’s long-term viability. Inevitably, mistakes will be made, but identifying those errors and making corrections before hackers can capitalize on the information is critical to any defensive posture.

United States - New Albany Airport

Exploit: Ransomware attack
New Albany Airport: New York-based airport authority

Risk to Small Business: 2.111 = SevereA ransomware attack on one of the airport’s MSPs spread to its servers, encrypting backup files, administrative information, and other resources. Fortunately, the malware did not extend to the Albany International Airport or airline computers. However, the company was forced to pay a five-figure ransom to recover their information. The attack’s effectiveness was predicated on the organization’s outdated hardware and lax cybersecurity standards. In response, the New Albany Airport Authority terminated its contract with the MSP and is taking steps to upgrade its defensive posture.

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

Customers Impacted: Unknown

How it Could Affect Your Customers’ Business: This incident underscores the cascading consequences of a data breach. For the New Albany Airport Authority, they will bear the financial cost of recovery while their MSP will lose an important contract since they failed to protect their customers’ IT. From both directions, it’s clear that data security failure is a deal breaker in today’s digital environment.

United States - Manor Independent School District 

Exploit: Phishing scam
Manor Independent School District: Public school district

Risk to Small Business: 1.777 = SevereHackers successfully executed a phishing scam against employees, and they used the stolen credentials to siphon $2.3 million from the district. It took three separate transactions to acquire a significant sum, but their efforts were ultimately successful. The lost funds are just the start of an expensive process that will undoubtedly involve updating cybersecurity protocols, implementing employee awareness training, and upgrading IT infrastructure.

Individual Risk: 2.428 = SevereWhile the phishing scam didn’t compromise the district’s data, those implicated in the scheme submitted their account credentials to cybercriminals. They will need to update their account information to ensure its long-term security. At the same time, they should closely monitor their other accounts for unusual or suspicious activity.

Customers Impacted: Unknown

How it Could Affect Your Customers’ Business: While some companies might be reticent to invest in employee awareness training, this incident demonstrates that the cost of a successful phishing scam far exceeds the expense of preventative measures. The district is working to recoup lost funds but is not likely to emerge unscathed. This news offers a cautionary tale for organizations of all shapes and sizes; preventative measures are only effective if they are implemented 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:

Magecart Attack Targets Australian Bushfire Donations 

Australia’s bushfire natural disaster is one of the most profound in recent memories, inspiring donors from around the world to contribute resources to the cause. Unfortunately, a legitimate donations site was infected with a Magecart payment-card skimmer that stole donors’ personal information when making an online payment.

The breach was discovered by security researchers, who declined to identify the specific website impacted by the breach. Payment-card skimming malware is an increasing concern for e-commerce platforms, as it collects users’ most sensitive personal data. In addition, it undermines customer confidence in the online payment process, which could decrease their willingness to spend money online.

In this case, payment-card skimming could cost valuable resources in a dire situation. For all companies relying on e-commerce to drive revenue, it’s a reminder that customer confidence is a crucial component of successful online sales initiatives. 


A Note From Kobargo

Two-thirds of UK Healthcare Organizations Breached in 2019 

Healthcare companies store peoples’ most sensitive personal information, and data breaches in the industry are both increasingly prevalent and incredibly expensive. A compromised healthcare record is nearly twice as costly as that of the next highest sector. 

The consequences of this new reality are especially acute in the UK, where two-thirds of healthcare organizations experienced a data breach in 2019. According to a study by Vanson Bourne, nearly half of these incidents were malware-related. At the same time, other factors, including unauthorized data sharing, phishing scams, and noncompliance with data protection policies, also represented serious threats to healthcare data.

Notably, as the industry becomes increasingly tech-driven and comprised of third-party partnerships, these risks will continue to expand. In the year ahead, healthcare organizations around the world will need to reprioritize data security as an added element of quality patient care.


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