Data Breach, Cyber Alert Monday 05-20-19

Cyber Alert:  Last week, a global accounting firm was afflicted by a malware attack and more media companies were brought down by ransomware.

LAST WEEK'S CYBER ALERT, HACKS, ATTACKS, BREACHES AND MORE...

Baltimore City Government: City government serving Baltimore, Maryland

Exploit: Ransomware

Risk to Small Business: 1.888 = Severe: A ransomware attack has disabled nearly all computerized functions for the Baltimore City Government, including email, online payment platforms, and more. Business operations have been interrupted for “almost every department,” and city officials have started using library computer labs to process payroll for employees. It’s entirely possible that paychecks for city employees will be delayed, which can ultimately cause staff members to leave.

Individual Risk: 2.428 = Severe: Citing concerns about revealing the network vulnerability, city officials have not disclosed information about the breach. However, there is no indication that personal data was compromised as part of this breach.

Customers Impacted: Unknown

How it Could Affect Your Business: When adding up the costs of a data breach or ransomware attack, it’s important to consider the residual effects that take shape in the wake of a security incident. After factoring in the losses that result from customer and employee attrition, the ROI of security training and awareness solutions becomes irrefutable.


Wyzant Cyber Alert

Wyzant: Online education marketplace that matches tutors with students

Exploit: Database infiltration

Risk to Small Business: 1.777 = Severe: Hackers took advantage of a database anomaly to steal personally identifiable information (PII) from an undisclosed number of users on April 27, 2019. The tutoring company issued a patch to the database, and a more in-depth investigation is underway.

Individual Risk: 2.248 = Severe: Although it’s unclear how many users were impacted by the breach, PII was definitely made available to hackers. This data includes names, email addresses, zip codes, and more. The company’s platform lets users sign in using their Facebook credentials, enabling hackers to siphon off .jpegs of Facebook profile pictures, which can be leveraged to facilitate phishing scams.

Customers Impacted: Unknown

How it Could Affect Your Business: Failing to understand the security vulnerabilities that impact your IT infrastructure can have significant consequences for your users. Especially for companies handling PII for minors, protecting customer information has to remain a top priority. In order to be vigilant and prepared at all times, every organization should partner with a security solution that can proactively monitor the Dark Web for customer and employee data.


Watertown Daily Times Cyber Alert

Watertown Daily Times: Daily newspaper published in Watertown, New York

Exploit: Ransomware

Risk to Small Business: 2 = Severe: A company employee discovered ransomware on the company’s network while working on computer systems that are responsible for ad design and newspaper production. In addition to disabling certain publication capabilities, the ransomware restricted access to the company’s email servers and internet-based phones. While the newspaper was able to publish its latest edition, some sections were inaccessible, and reporters were forced to work from home.

Individual Risk: 3 = Moderate Risk: There is no indication that individual data was compromised in this breach.

Customers Impacted: Unknown

How it Could Affect Your Business: Ransomware attacks are on the rise in every industry. Companies should proactively assess their threat landscape while establishing protocols for restoring operations and protecting sensitive data. Meanwhile, understanding what happens to sensitive data after it’s accessed is a natural next step for repairing the product and reputation damage that frequently follows a data breach.


Augustana College Cyber Alert

Augustana College: Private liberal arts college in Rock Island, Illinois

Exploit: Ransomware

Risk to Small Business: 2.111= Severe: A university server housing personal information of students was hijacked by a ransomware attack. Although the server was taken offline and existing data was migrated to a new server, the hackers were able to view student information before the breach was detected. A third-party forensic investigation team has been hired to review the incident, and the organization is undergoing new initiatives to prevent an attack like this in the future.

Individual Risk: 2.571 = Moderate: Augustana did not reveal the exact nature of the personal information compromised in the attack, but university staff and students should enroll in credit and identity monitoring services to ensure that their information is not used for malicious purposes.

Customers Impacted: Unknown

How it Could Affect Your Business: When it comes to preventing malicious hacking attempts, the best offense is a strong defense. This means that all campus dwellers at a university should be enrolled in ongoing security training. Untrained employees are a significant security risk, but they can be transformed into an organization’s best defense against cybercrime.


A Note From Kobargo:

As you’ve probably noticed from tuning into our weekly newsletter, ransomware attacks are increasing in scope and severity at an alarming rate.

Security researchers are now tracking a new ransomware that is infecting computers by disguising itself as anti-virus software. Talk about a malicious advancement for an already meticulous cybersecurity threat!

This latest file-locking malware is disguised as an anti-virus installation that users willingly download on their computers. Victims are lured by the false request  through phishing emails that prompt users to “update and verify” their anti-virus software with an embedded link.

When users click on the link, the malware downloads ransomware and an outdated anti-virus software. The download begins encrypting files in the background while unknowing users complete the anti-virus software installation.

While this tactic isn’t necessarily new, its reemergence should compel companies to train their employees to spot malicious materials and to create a comprehensive plan for dealing with phishing scams, malware, and ransomware attacks. Consider partnering with an MSP that can offer phishing simulation training, like Kobargo Technology Partners, that can help support such initiatives with state-of-the-art solutions.

Protect your business from Ransomware. Contact Kobargo Technology Partners to schedule a free consultation today!

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