Information Security – Data Breach

WikiLeaks: CIA can hack into phones, TVs — everything

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WikiLeaks: CIA can hack into phones, TVs — everything.
The crusading website WikiLeaks published thousands of documents Tuesday it says detail CIA tools for hacking into web servers, computers, smartphones and even TVs that can be turned into covert microphones.
The website claims the CIA Center for Cyber Intelligence “lost control of the majority of its hacking arsenal,” more than several hundred million lines of code that provide “the entire hacking capacity of the CIA.”
Jake Williams, a security expert with the Georgia-based security firm Rendition Infosec, said the information will be used within days or weeks by hackers and the security firms that combat them. “The potential privacy concerns are mind-boggling,” said Lieu, who has a degree in computer science. “We need to know if the CIA lost control of its hacking tools, who may have those tools, and how do we now protect the privacy of Americans.”
According to WikiLeaks, Apple’s iPhone, Google’s Android, Microsoft’s Windows and Samsung smart TVs were among CIA targets.
Wikileaks released thousands of hacked Democratic National Committee emails ahead of last year’s presidential election, in a cyber attack the U.S. intelligence community concluded was carried out by Russia in an attempt to interfere in the race.
Edward Snowden, who was granted asylum in Russia after his own release of classified government documents to multiple media outlets in 2013, tweeted the documents show the government developed vulnerabilities in U.S. products and left them there.
Chelsea Manning, who leaked hundreds of thousands of classified documents through the WikiLeaks website, is scheduled for release in May after more than six years in prison.

China sanctions, hacking threats eclipse South Korea THAAD deployment

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March 7 (UPI) — A U.S. missile defense system designed to shoot down North Korea projectiles has begun to arrive in parts in South Korea, where it may be deployed as early as April.
The latest development comes as Chinese hackers and the government in Beijing are applying different kinds of pressure against South Korean businesses like the conglomerate Lotte, which has agreed to allow THAAD to be placed on one of its proprietary golf courses in central South Korea.
The United States confirmed the start of deployment, and South Korean media said THAAD battery installment began on Monday, with some parts flown into an air base in Seoul, the BBC reported.
Unhappy with the deployment, China is believed to have taken various retaliatory measures against South Korean companies in response to the joint U.S.-South Korea decision.
Representatives of South Korean online gaming companies have said they may have been the targets of the latest Chinese sanctions, Yonhap reported Tuesday.
Midsize South Korean gaming firms are more likely to be affected by Chinese sanctions than bigger enterprises that partner with Chinese companies and can evade embargoes targeting foreign businesses, according to the report.
South Korea exports about $3.2 billion of games and other “creative content.”
China, Taiwan and Hong Kong account for about 33 percent of market share.
The South Korean conglomerate Lotte also continues to be the target of official and unofficial sanctions.
The video includes a “declaration of war” against South Korea for the THAAD decision.

Protect Your Small Business from a Data Breach

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Protect Your Small Business from a Data Breach.
Use Strong Passwords Creating a unique and secure password is essential to prevent hackers from getting into an account.
It’s also a good idea to update passwords every 90 days and change them completely.
Using two-factor authentication with passwords can provide additional protection against hackers.
Apply Encryption and Tokenization In today’s world, it is essential to safeguard all credit card data from potential threats.
That’s why applying tokenization and encryption are the perfect tools for protecting credit card transactions.
Restrict Stored Personal Data When collecting information from consumers, less is better.
It’s also important to safely dispose of any information that is written down, such as credit card information.
To help mitigate the risks associated with a breach, small businesses should partner with a payment processor who can provide advanced security solutions to protect their business.
By using strong password authentication, applying encryption and tokenization for transactions, limiting the amount of personal data that is stored, and partnering with a payment processor, small businesses can be well on their way to a future of safer payments.

Consumers’ Views of Yahoo Dropped After Latest Data Breach Disclosure

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Consumers’ Views of Yahoo Dropped After Latest Data Breach Disclosure.
That decline comes as Verizon Communications Inc. nears its purchase of Yahoo’s core internet business after the telecommunications firm secured a discount from the initial price tag because of Dec. 14 revelations that hackers stole data linked to more than 1 billion Yahoo accounts in August 2013.
That followed a 2014 breach that compromised more than 500 million accounts.
Yahoo’s favorability went from 73 percent on on Dec. 17 to 63 percent on Dec. 25, Morning Consult Brand Intelligence shows.
More respondents viewed Yahoo unfavorably following the announcement, with those viewpoints increasing from 15 percent on Dec. 17 to 23 percent on Dec. 22.
Still, Yahoo’s favorability average on March 6 is at 64 percent, just 1 percentage point higher than 11 days after the data breach announcement.
Verizon received a $350 million discount on its $4.8 billion initial asking price due to the disclosure of those breaches, the companies disclosed in a Feb. 21 statement.
The deal is scheduled to close by June 30.
While Yahoo’s favorability fell 10 percentage points following December’s announcement, the $350 million discount amounts to a 7 percent price cut.
Roger Entner, a telecom expert and the founder of Recon Analytics, says $350 million is a much smaller amount than what Verizon should have demanded.

This hard drive will self destruct. Data-wiping malware targets Europe

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Data-wiping malware targets Europe.
Shamoon—the mysterious disk wiper that popped up out nowhere in 2012 and took out more than 35,000 computers in a Saudi Arabian-owned gas company before disappearing—is back.
They found it while they were researching the trio of Shamoon attacks, which occurred on two dates in November and one date in late January.
The refurbished Shamoon 2.0 added new tools and techniques, including less reliance on outside command-and-control servers, a fully functional ransomware module, and new 32-bit and 64-bit components. “The discovery of the StoneDrill wiper in Europe is a significant sign that the group is expanding its destructive attacks outside the Middle East,” Kaspersky Lab researchers wrote in a 35-page report published Monday.
The researchers also noted the possibility that one or both of the embedded language sections are “false flags” intended to mislead investigators about the origins of the malware.
It’s also possible that StoneDrill and Shamoon are used by two different groups that have no connection to each other and just happened to target Saudi organizations at the same time.
StoneDrill came to the attention of Kaspersky Labs as researchers were investigating the recent wave of Shamoon attacks.
Shamoon 2.0 allows the attackers to build a custom wiper that uses the credentials to spread widely inside the organization.
Kaspersky Lab researchers still don’t know how StoneDrill spreads.

Data Breach At Public School Board

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Data Breach At Public School Board.
BlackburnNews.com has learned personal information of staff members at the Greater Essex County District School Board has been accessed in a possible data breach.
An email that was sent out to staff was sent to BlackburnNews.com anonymously.
It says information such as the names, dates of birth, social security number and direct deposit information of staff members was made accessible through the internal computer network.
The email states that “the full scope of information that was potentially vulnerable is still undergoing investigation.” A student discovered and reported the data breach to staff Monday morning.
At least three students were aware of the system vulnerability, but it is believed none of the students copied or shared the information.
It is believed the software issue was rectified and access to the information is no longer available.
However, the school board has contacted the Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner of Ontario to notify them of the breach.
Police have also been notified.
BlackburnNews.com has reached out to Greater Essex County District School for comment.

Shamoon Data-Wiping Malware Now Comes with Ransomware Option

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The malware, dubbed StoneDrill by the researchers, has possible ties to the attack group behind the infamous and recently resurrected Shamoon data-wiping malware.
One researcher not affiliated with Kaspersky Lab confirmed that some nation-state groups already have employed ransomware against their targets – mainly to appear as a cybercriminal group and not to tip their hands as an APT. “It makes sense that Shamoon, a destructive malware, would have ransomware with it,” Oppenheim says.
Kaspersky Lab makes it a policy not to identify attackers by their nation or other affiliation, but other research teams say NewsBeef/Charming Kitten are an Iranian APT.
CrowdStrike expects more such attacks as the geopolitical climate continues to intensify. “Some of that is being represented in this reporting,” he says of the new Kaspersky Lab findings.
CrowdStrike’s Meyers, says part of the equation is studying who’s being attacked.
Kaspersky Lab’s Andrés Guerrero-Saade says his team hasn’t yet seen Shamoon 2.0 or StoneDrill attacks against US organizations, however.
He recommends beefing up attack defenses for these types of threats. “There have been less than ten in the past decade, which suggest how careful and unusual they are even for well-established APT actors,” Andrés Guerrero-Saade says.

US Lawmakers Seek Grant For State, Local Cybersecurity

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US Lawmakers Seek Grant For State, Local Cybersecurity.
US lawmakers from both parties and houses of Congress have introduced a bill called the State Cyber Resiliency Act to increase resources to states and local governments for ensuring cybersecurity, reports GCN.
The bill was introduced by Representatives Derek Kilmer and Barbara Comstock and Senators Mark Warner and Cory Gardner.
The grant program, say the bill’s sponsors, will increase resources to state and local government bodies so they can strengthen their cyber plans, develop a stronger cybersecurity workforce and fight threats.
Currently less than 2% of IT budgets are dedicated to cybersecurity, they claim.
This prompted the Department of Homeland Security to label the state voting infrastructure “critical infrastructure.”
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How can you predict the costs of a data breach for your company?

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How can you predict the costs of a data breach for your company?.
A common fear of privacy officers is a data breach, the unauthorized acquisition or processing of personal information that is maintained by an organization.
Anticipating the cost of a data breach When I discuss data breaches with my clients, the question of the impacts to their organization always comes up.
The Analytics Cup breaks the class into teams with each team working on a project defined by a business.
In the fall of this year, my company, Privacy Ref, proposed a project to predict the cost of a data breach for a company.
A predictive model for the costs of a data breach The guidelines for developing the model had one requirement, it must be “easy.” It had to be easy to use, easy to distribute and easy to understand the results.
Each team developed a survey to gather estimates of costs contributing to the overall cost of a data breach.
The difference between the two models were how the survey information was gathered and how the results were presented.
Starting from the work the students have done, an organization can obtain an estimate or they may enhance the model to have a more finely tailored estimate of the cost of a data breach.
Getting the model The model is available free of charge (though a donation to the St. Joseph’s University is preferred), on the Presentation & Papers page at the Privacy Ref website.

New data breach law drives Australia’s cyber security focus

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New data breach law drives Australia’s cyber security focus.
A new mandatory data breach notification law has come to Australia.
Dire cyber security skills shortage expected to continue into 2020.
According to the Australian Cyber Security Centre (“ACSC”), it lacks a clear view of cyber security incidents suffered by Australian businesses because they are not sufficiently reported on the current voluntary basis.
The GDPR will however increase potential fines to 4% of global annual turnover for the preceding year or €20m.
According to leading cybersecurity market intelligence agency, Cybersecurity Ventures, cybercrime will continue to rise and cost businesses globally more than $6 trillion annually by 2021.
Some of the more infamous UK incidents involved Sports Direct (in early 2017) where employees data was compromised; Three Mobile, one of Britain’s largest mobile operators, who revealed a major data breach in 2016 that put millions of its customers at risk; Tesco Bank hacked in 2016 with money stolen from 20,000 customer accounts; and – last but not least – the UK telco Talk Talk who suffered a data breach[11] that resulted in the highest ever fine (400,000 GBP) issued by the ICO in 2016 and cost the company a total of £80 million and 100,000 lost customers.
Data breaches in Australia Australia led the APAC region in reported data breaches in 2016[12].
The cyber skills shortfall [20] The global cyber security market is forecast to be worth US$120 billion in 2017 and rise to US$1 trillion by 2020[21].
The most lacking cyber security skills are said to be intrusion detection, software development and attack mitigation.