“Cybersecurity News” and what to do with it

So what has happened that I want to make another post about “Cybersecurity News”?

  1. Microsoft states they will implement the new CCPA (California Consumer Privacy Act) across the nation by January 1, 2020 https://blogs.microsoft.com/on-the-issues/2019/11/11/microsoft-california-privacy-rights/  November 11)
  2. 68000 patients of Methodist hospital impacted by Phishing attack  (By HIPAA Journal) (October 17)   https://www.hipaajournal.com/68000-patients-of-methodist-hospitals-impacted-by-phishing-attack/
  3. Domain Registrar Network Solutions discloses breach – although no credit card information was accessed there was account information from their data. https://www.bleepingcomputer.com/news/security/worlds-first-domain-registrar-network-solutions-discloses-breach/   (October 30)
  4. DoorDash confirmed a data breach with a third party vendor exposing 4.9 mil customers, workers or merchants.  (September 26) https://techcrunch.com/2019/09/26/doordash-data-breach/
  5. Zynga was breached, a mobile game maker claimed a hacker accessed 218 million user records. (September 30, 2019)
  6. Facebook database users’ phone numbers found online. https://techcrunch.com/2019/09/04/facebook-phone-numbers-exposed/   (September 4)

What does it mean to the regular Internet user, when large breaches happen?

First of all if you are affected then you will be notified (or should be) within a certain amount of time (depends on state – could be a few weeks). What about if one is not affected? I.e. there was no direct user under the breaches noted now one is affected because the general nature of the criminals is that they try and sell the data to other attackers. Here is where even a remote user or infrequent access user of the service may have data in the criminal database. And there is also another ‘affect’. the Darknet now has all of these databases of the breaches.  So the criminal empire has just enriched themselves with some more datapoints to send out yet more spam and phishing attempts.

So my contention is when breaches occur the criminal empire grows and our life gets harder. We have to continually evolve to keep up defenses with the new attacks generated by the criminal hacker.

What does it really mean when 218million accounts are accessed by hackers?

Or 4.9 million customers/workers/merchants?

68000 patients data was accessed by a hacker!

And to top it all off Microsoft wants to help us implement CCPA across the nation.

Contact me to discuss

What Does it Mean When Your Website’s Registrar is Hacked?

On October 16 Web.com, Networksolutions.com, and register.com had a breach, and as of Nov2nd there is no mention of anything like a breach on their website (web.com owns the others)

The breach information was obtained from the always useful Krebsonsecurity.com site.

 

So what happens when your website’s registrar was hacked? It likely means all of your personal information that you entered into the registrar is now in the hacker’s hands.

What else can happen?

Depending on how bad the breach was(how much the hackers stole) passwords could have been stolen. This is why one should change passwords periodically anyway, but especially after a breach at your registrar.

So if the hackers get sneaky, they can redirect your website to other servers and take over your webtraffic. What could happen then is that anyone trying to access your website could get malware and then get hacked. It is a possibility in this scenario to get some liability for hacking your customers inadvertently.  This is the case in any hacker scenario.

Let’s say due to errors and misconfigurations your website was hacked by the bad guys(not just a registrar error), now the bad guys set up your website to have hidden downloads for all of the people that visit it.  each one of these downloads is actually malware that installs ransomware. So now your clients and potential clients are being infected by your website.  If your client can point to your site and say that is where I got my ransomware – you could be liable!!

So a potential hack on your website has a high impact. And thus it is important to review and make sure it is in good shape all the time. It is not enough to just making sure the server is up. The website has to be unaltered.

 

Contact us to discuss this subject further.

Chrome Zero Day Vulnerability Noticed on Halloween

https://www.zdnet.com/article/halloween-scare-google-discloses-chrome-zero-day-exploited-in-the-wild/

ZDNet points out that Google Chrome has a Zero-day vulnerability – which means you cannot patch or fix your Chrome Browser.

The above image is from a Mac Chrome browser, thus I want to make sure you know any Chrome browser (including on Android or IPhone as well).

I have discussed Zero-Day vulnerabilities before (Dec15/15 post):

Zero-Day Attacks And Why Patching Means Catching Up

Here is a risk management matrix:

So this new vulnerability is a high impact and maybe a medium likelihood.  You can reduce your likelihood by being extra careful to phishing attacks.

Update Nov 5th : the Chrome Zero-day vulnerability was patched: https://www.techradar.com/news/google-patches-another-major-chrome-zero-day

So now it  is up to all of us that use Chrome to patch and update your software!!

Contact us to discuss how your risk matrix looks.

Stopping Social Engineering Attacks No, Slow Down Yes!

Elements of an Attack:

From the article at TechNewsWorld.

Social Engineering is equivalent to scammers trying all types of methods to gain information or money.

What does it mean to have an image above that shows many possible Social engineering attacks?

Let’s list them:

  1. Techniques
    1. Phishing
    2. Pretexting
    3. Baiting
    4. Quid Pro Quo
  2. Compliance principles
    1. Friendship or liking
    2. Commitment or Consistency
    3. Scarcity
    4. Reciprocity
    5. Social Validation
    6. Authority
  3. Target
    1. Individual
    2. Organization
  4. Goal
    1. financial Gain
    2. Unauthorized Access
    3. Service Disruption
  5. Medium
    1. E-mail
    2. Face-to-face
    3. Telephone
    4. SMS
    5. Paper Mail
    6. Storage Media
    7. Webpage
    8. Pamphlets

And the above methods are only the current or ‘older’ attacks. Each heading is followed by the specific attack method. And these methods are all focused on taking resources or information to eventually relieve you of money.

Now social engineeringattack advances  has added Vishing – which is attempting to influence an action by calling/contacting a mobile phone which requires a quick action.

Impersonation is the practice of pretexting as another person with the goal of obtaining information or access to a person, company, or computer system. (another newer method)

Sometimes the goal is to gain information not actually steal resources($  or computer time) at first. Only after a lot of information gathering is a unique social engineering attack going to go for the jugular and the money they are all after.

 

So what can be done to slow down or reduce the attacks (Under no illusion to completely stop all attacks).

Introduce a process or method – let me take your information and I will call you back. (most phishers will not want to give a number). Authenticate the person’s number to make sure it is legitimate.

Also make a rule never to give out personal information on an incoming call – have a standard response available. ” Mr./Mrs./Ms/ you can understand that with all of the possible hacker attacks we do not give out any(or xyz) information via phone” If needed I can call you back tomorrow, am busy now.

No matter how you are being contacted the response can be changed… On an incoming text we do not give out personal information. Please give me another phone # so I can contact you tomorrow.

Do not respond to texts with information, require a call and other contacts to verify the authenticity of caller.

A social engineering attack can be complex but it really has the same goal as all hacker attacks to take resources and information from you. If you can slow them down, make them work harder to get what they want. then you are most of the way to a secure and safe network.

We can help you rewrite your security policy: contact us.