Rhode Island and Illinois Healthcare Clinics Hit by Ransomware Attacks

The Center for Vitreo-Retinal Diseases in Libertyville, IL, has announced that it was recently the victim of a ransomware attack. The attack was first noticed on September 18, 2018, and resulted in the encryption of data on the organisation’s servers. The investigation into the breach suggests the attacker may have gained access to the protected health information of 20,371 patients that was stored on the affected servers. Ransomware...

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ICS-CERT Discovers Vulnerability in Philips Health App

The Department of Homeland Security’s Industrial Control Systems Cyber Emergency Response Team (ICS-CERT) has issued a medical advisory about a vulnerability that has been identified in the Philips HealthSuite Health Android App which would only take a “low level” of skill to exploit. The Philips HealthSuite Health Android App is used by individuals to help them achieve activity targets and health goals. The app collects user...

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Adobe Releases Patch for Flash Player Vulnerability

On Wednesday, December 5, 2018, Adobe issued an update to correct a vulnerability in Adobe Flash Player. The vulnerability had been identified in late November by Gigamon, held network visibility and traffic monitoring technology vendor. Qihoo 360, a Chinese internet security company, recently discovered an advanced persistent threat campaign that was exploiting the vulnerability in Adobe’s software. The vulnerability was being...

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Cancer Centers of America Falls Victim to Phishing Attack

Cancer Centers of America’s Western Regional Medical Center in Bullhead City, Arizona, has recently fallen victim to a phishing attack which has exposed the protected health information (PHI) of over 41,000 individuals. The attack occurred due to one of its employees responding to a phishing email. The email was designed to appear as if it had been sent from the email account of an executive employee of Cancer Treatment Centers of...

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GDPR Violation Penalty Levied Against Hospital for First Time

The Centro Hospitalar Barreiro Montijo, near Lisbon, Portugal, has become the first hospital to be issued a penalty for violating the EU’s new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). The Comissão Nacional de Protecção de Dados (CNPD), the body which oversees issues relating to data protection, prosecuted the Barreiro Montijo hospital for failing to ensure that adequate access restrictions were in place to protect the integrity of...

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President Trump Signs Opioid Bill into Law

On October 26, 2017, President Donald Trump declared the opioid crisis a national public health emergency. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, over 100 people die every day in the United States from overdosing on opioids. Hundreds more suffer due addiction to opioids, which include drugs such as pain relievers, heroin, and fentanyl (a synthetic opioid). According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the...

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Ransomware Attack on Jones Eye Clinic Affects 40,000 Patients

The Jones Eye Clinic and its affiliated surgery, CJ Elmwood Partners, based in Sioux City, Iowa, has announced that up to 40,000 patients may have had their data compromised following a ransomware attack on their systems. The ransomeware attack was discovered on August 23, 2018. Ransomware is software which denies the user access to their device, or certain files on the device, until a ransom has been paid to the scammer. The...

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Radisson Hotel Data Breach Response Potentially in Violation of GDPR

The Radisson Hotel Group may be fined for non-compliance with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) following a data breach earlier this year. The Radisson Hotel Group is a chain with over 1,400 hotels in over 70 countries and incorporates hotel brand such as the Park Plaza, Country Inn & Suites, Park Inn, and Radisson Collection. As their headquarters is based in Brussels, Belgium, the group is required to comply...

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Beazley’s Publishes Breach Insights Report for Q3 2018

Beazley’s, a specialist insurance group, has released their quarterly Breach Insight Report for Q3 2018. The report concerned the attacks managed by Beazley Breach Response Services, which deals with the aftermath of an attack, including the investigation and the breach response. One of the most prevalent findings of the report is the huge rise in the number of ransomware incidents seen in comparison to previous months. Q3 saw a total...

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Phishing Attack Causes Breach at Catawba Valley Medical Center

Catawba Valley Medical Center (CVMC), a medical center serving the greater Catawba County area based in Hickory, North Carolina, has recently announced that an unauthorised individual gained access to their systems following a successful phishing attack. It is estimated that up to 20,000 people may have been affected by the breach. The discovery was made on August 13, 2018. The organisation acted quickly to secure the account and...

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Anthem Settles for Record $16 Million with OCR

Anthem, Inc., a health insurance company and the largest for-profit managed health care company in the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association, has been levied the largest ever fine for a HIPAA violation for the February 2015 attack on their servers which saw over 78.8 million records stolen. The Anthem data breach settlement of $16 million is nearly three times the previous record-holder for largest HIPAA fine ($5.55 million) and...

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ERS Texas Data Breach Caused by Error in Online Portal’s Code

The Employees Retirement System of Texas (ERS) has discovered a flaw in its ERS OnLine portal which allowed some users to view other members’ details upon logging into the portal. Up to 1.25 million records may have been exposed as a result of the error. ERS, a public pension fund with over $21 billion in assets under management, has explained that an error in the website’s code affected the “Annual Out-of-Pocket Premium” function of...

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FirstCare Health Plans Data Breach Caused by Mailing List Error

FirstCare Health Plans, a Texan health insurance organisation, has revealed that more than 8,000 of its members may have had some of their personal data breached due to an email error made by one of its staff. The organisation is in the process of notifying 8,056 plan members plan members that may have had some of their sensitive personal information impermissibly disclosed to an unauthorised individual as a result of automated...

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Twin Phishing Attacks on Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia’s Results in Data Breach

Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) has announced that the email accounts of two employees have been compromised following cyberattacks on two August 23 and August 29, 2018. On August 24, CHOP, a paediatric healthcare facility and primary care provider, discovered an unauthorized individual had gained access to the email account of one of the physicians working at the facility. An investigation was launched into the incident,...

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Report Reveals Spike in Data Breaches Reported Under GDPR

The General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) came into effect in the European Union in May 2018. The regulations served to replace the existing regulations covering data protection, which were woefully out-of-date with modern technology and inadequate to deal with major cybersecurity risks. The creators of GDPR hoped that the regulations would reduce the risk of data theft to a minimum by requiring that a number of safeguards are in...

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Press America Inc Faces Lawsuit Over HIPAA Breach
Feb01

Press America Inc Faces Lawsuit Over HIPAA Breach

Press America, Inc, a mail service used by a pharmacy benefit manager CVS Pharmacy, is being sued for the occurrence of an accidental disclosure of 41 people’ protected health information. As a subcontractor to supply a mail-order pharmacy service for the health planCVS Pharmacy is a business associate of health plan CVS Pharmacy and, as such, both bodies must adhere with HIPAA Rules. CVS Pharmacy completed a business associate...

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Medical Data from Closed Pennsylvania Obs/Gyn Clinic Found at Allentown Public Recycling Center
Dec08

Medical Data from Closed Pennsylvania Obs/Gyn Clinic Found at Allentown Public Recycling Center

Private Medical Data has been found at a recycling center in Allentown, Pennsylvania. Paper files containing names, Social Security numbers, and medical histories, including details of cancer diagnoses and sexually transmitted diseases were located that the center by a city worker. The medical files appear to have belonged to Women’s Health Consultants, an obstetrics and gynecology firm, that is no longer in business, but that had...

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12,172 Individuals Impacted by ShopRite Data Breach
Dec07

12,172 Individuals Impacted by ShopRite Data Breach

Pharmacy customers of ShopRite Supermarkets, Inc. have been impacted by a security violation caused by the improper disposal of a device used to record the signatures of customers. The device was used at the ShopRite, Kingston, NY location during the time period from 2005-2015 and saved personal and medical details. Customers who went to the pharmacy to have prescriptions filled between 2005 and 2015 have potentially been affected by...

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UAB Medicine Encounters PHI Breach Due to Missing Laptops
Dec06

UAB Medicine Encounters PHI Breach Due to Missing Laptops

The UAB Medicine Viral Hepatitis Clinic located in Birmingham, AL has encountered a violation of patients’ protected health information (PHI). UAB Medicine employs the use of flash drives to shift data from its Fibroscan machine to a computer device. Two flash drives were discovered to be missing on October 25, 2017. The portable storage devices stored a restricted amount of PHI of 652 patients. Information captured on the devices...

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Extortion Attack on Private Information of Sports Medicine Clients
Dec06

Extortion Attack on Private Information of Sports Medicine Clients

7,000 patients of Sports Medicine & Rehabilitation Therapy (SMART) have been alerted of a possible breach of the private personal information. It is believed the breach, which involved an extortion attempt, may have impacted anyone whose information was taken during a visit to a SMART center before the last day of 2016. The extortion attempt occurred in September 2017 when hackers gained access to SMART systems, allegedly stole...

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PHI of 932 Texas Children’s Health Plan Members’ in Email Breach
Nov09

PHI of 932 Texas Children’s Health Plan Members’ in Email Breach

An email to the personal email account of a former employee of the Texas Children’s Health Plan has been discovered to have exposed the protected health information (PHI) of 932 members. The incident was identified on September 21, 2017, although the former member of staff sent the data via email late last year in November and December 2016. The emails were seen during a routine audit process. Texas Children’s Health Plan reacted to...

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Iliana Peters Now Acting Deputy at the OCR

OCR’s Iliana Peters has stepped in to replace Deven McGraw, Deputy Director for Health Information Privacy at the Department of Health and Human Services’ Office for Civil Rights (OCR), in an interim role. Peters will serve as Acting Deputy Director until a suitable replacement for McGraw can be identified. Peters has departed her role as senior advisor for HIPAA Compliance and Enforcement at OCR. There are no plans in place to bring...

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Survey finds US and UK Companies Slow to Prepare for GDPR Compliance
Nov05

Survey finds US and UK Companies Slow to Prepare for GDPR Compliance

A recent survey, conducted by Dimensional Research, has revealed that the levels of unpreparedness for both US and UK firms for compliance with the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) are high. Results seen in both the UK and US studies confirm the clients’ fears about the difficulty of privacy management. It also backs up the claims that technology investment will play a massive role in complying with GDPR and...

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Danger of Using USB Drives to Store PHI Highlighted of Data Breach
Oct29

Danger of Using USB Drives to Store PHI Highlighted of Data Breach

Two USB drives holding the protected health information of almost 2,000 veterans at the Man-Grandstaff VA Medical Center in Spokane, WA have been discovered to be stolen. The two devices were storing data from a separate, external, non-networked server that was being switched off. One of the devices was the master drive used to transfer the medical center’s Anesthesia Record Keeper database to its virtual archive server. In a...

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HIPAA Alliance Marketplace Matches Healthcare Organizations With HIPAA-Compliant Business
Oct25

HIPAA Alliance Marketplace Matches Healthcare Organizations With HIPAA-Compliant Business

This week has seen the launch of a new platform that streamlines the process of searching for HIPAA-compliant business associates. The HIPAA Alliance Marketplace has been developed to match HIPAA covered entities with trusted vendors that have been independently verified as HIPAA-compliant. Healthcare organizations are required to comply with Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act Rules, and so too must their business...

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HIPAA Compliant Business Associates Easier to Locate with New Tool
Oct23

HIPAA Compliant Business Associates Easier to Locate with New Tool

The challenge of finding HIPAA compliant business associates has been addressed with the introduction of a new tool to simplify this task. Healthcare organizations are only allowed to use business associates that comply with HIPAA Rules and sign a business associate agreement. Finding HIPAA compliant business associates is time consuming, although locating vendors willing to follow HIPAA Rules is only part of the steps that must be...

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FinSpy Malware Installed Using Adobe Flash Player Uopdate Flaw
Oct23

FinSpy Malware Installed Using Adobe Flash Player Uopdate Flaw

Last week software giant Adobe issued a new patch for Flash Player to address an actively exploited weakness (CVE-2017-11292) that is being targeted by the hacking group Black Oasis to install FinSpy malware. Finspy is strictly not defined as malware, it is a legitimate software program developed by the German software company Gamma International. However, it can be used for many purposes including many malware-like functions. FinSpy...

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New MyEtherWallet Phishing Attacks Witnessed
Oct22

New MyEtherWallet Phishing Attacks Witnessed

A new wave of MyEtherWallet phishing attacks has been witnessed which use a convincing domain and MyEtherWallet branding to trick MyEtherWallet users into sharing their credentials and providing criminals with access to their MyEtherWallet accounts. In the initial hours of the phishing campaign, the criminals responsible for the scam had obtained more than $15,000 of MyEtherWallet funds, including $13,000 from one MyEtherWallet user....

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1300 People Impacted by RiverMend Health Breach
Oct22

1300 People Impacted by RiverMend Health Breach

An unauthorized person has been found to have obtained access to the email credentials of one the  employees at RiverMend Health, a provider of specialty behavioral health services including services for drug and alcohol addiction. The unauthorized access was discovered by the Augusta, GA-based group on August 10, 2017, when it was noticed that suspicious emails were being sent from the employee’s account. The suspicious email...

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Attackers Decrypting WiFi Traffic Thanks to KRACK WiFi Security Weakness
Oct21

Attackers Decrypting WiFi Traffic Thanks to KRACK WiFi Security Weakness

A WiFi security flaw in WPA2 called KRACK has been discovered in an investigation at the University of Leuven in Belgium. The KRACK WiFi security weakness affects all modern WiFi networks and could be used for ill means with relative ease. While there have been no known attacks targeting this weakness, it is one of the most serious WiFi flaws discovered, with the potential to be used for obtaining the data millions of users. If the...

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Improperly Configured Cloud Services in Over Half of Businesses
Oct20

Improperly Configured Cloud Services in Over Half of Businesses

The healthcare sector has made great waves recently in embracing cloud based technology. Most healthcare groups now implementing secure cloud storage services to host web applications or store data which contains electronic protected health information (ePHI) pertaining to subscribers. However, as the proliferation of secure cloud storage systems continues at pace, it does not mean data breaches will not be experienced, and neither...

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Almost 500K Records Exposed in September Healthcare Data Breaches
Oct18

Almost 500K Records Exposed in September Healthcare Data Breaches

The Breach Barometer report from for September has been released and shows there was a significant increase in healthcare data breaches during that month. The report collates healthcare data violations reported to the Department of Health and Human Services’ Office for Civil Rights (OCR) and security breaches recorded by databreaches.net. The latter of which have yet to appear on the OCR ‘Wall of Shame.’ Overall,...

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Advisory Issues by Department of Education Regarding Hacking and Extortion Threats
Oct17

Advisory Issues by Department of Education Regarding Hacking and Extortion Threats

TheDarkOverlord hacking group has, in recent time, been targeting K12 schools; obtaining access to networks, stealing data and trying to extort money. As a reaction to the hacking and extortion threats, the U.S. Department of Education has released an advisory to K12 schools and has issued guidance to help educational institutions mitigate danger and safeguard their networks from attack. The attacks on educational institute...

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HIPAA Compliance and Skype: What You Need to Know
Oct16

HIPAA Compliance and Skype: What You Need to Know

Skype and other text messaging platforms are a useful way of broadcasting information, but there are some questions to be answered in relation to HIPAA compliance of the service. There has recently been a lot of discussions and debate regarding this. There are security measure implemented by Skype to prevent unauthorized access of information transmitted via the platform and messages are encrypted. However it might still be unclear if...

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U.S. Organizations Targeted by FormBook Malware Campaign
Oct16

U.S. Organizations Targeted by FormBook Malware Campaign

Specific industry sectors in the United States and South Korea have been the main targets in the Formbook malware attacks. However there has been some worry that the malware will be used in more widespread cyberattacks around the world. So far, the Aerospace industry, defense contractors, and the manufacturing sector have been widely targeted; however, attacks have not been limited to these sectors. The financial services, energy and...

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PHI Exposure May Have Happened Following Theft of Unencrypted Laptop
Oct15

PHI Exposure May Have Happened Following Theft of Unencrypted Laptop

Exposure of patients’ protected health information may have occurred after an unencrypted laptop computer was stolen from a car belonging to an employee of Bassett Family Practice in Virginia. The theft of the laptop is thought to have occurred during the weekend of 12/13 August. Patients were warned of the exposure of their private date on October 13, 2017. The delay in issuing notifications was justified as the time needed to...

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Flash Player Flaw Used to Deliver FinSpy Malware Exploited by Adobe Patches
Oct15

Flash Player Flaw Used to Deliver FinSpy Malware Exploited by Adobe Patches

Adobe has issued a new update for Flash Player to tackle an actively exploited flaw (CVE-2017-11292) that is being used by the hacking group Black Oasis to send out FinSpy malware. Finspy is not malware as you would expect, it is a legitimate software program developed by the German software company Gamma International. However, its capabilities include a variety of malware-like functions. As the name implies, FinSpy is surveillance...

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Zero Day Vulnerabilities Exploited by Microsoft Patches
Oct14

Zero Day Vulnerabilities Exploited by Microsoft Patches

This Patch Tuesday has seen Microsoft release several updates for serious vulnerabilities, some of which are being constantly exploited in the open. Microsoft is pleading with companies to apply the patches now to keep their systems safe. Some of the vulnerabilities are simple to exploit, requiring little experience or knowledge Overall, 62 vulnerabilities have been patched, including 33 that can lead to remote code execution. Out of...

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Public Whois Registry Likely to be Affected by GDPR
Oct12

Public Whois Registry Likely to be Affected by GDPR

The EU GDPR Law will have a significant impact on the businesses that process and manage EU citizens’ data. WHOIS is a member of Domain Name sector that is likely to be affected by the new data protection legislation. The introduction of these new laws will be a delicate process for companies as they work to comply with the guidelines from the European Union and the ICANN. WHOIS supplies a database where internet users to find domain...

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Proposed Rule for Certification of Compliance for Health Plans Withdrawn by HHS
Oct11

Proposed Rule for Certification of Compliance for Health Plans Withdrawn by HHS

The Department of Health and Human Services, at the start of 2014, completed a proposal for introducing a new rule to bring in an official certification of compliance for health plans. The proposed rule would have obligated all controlling health plans (CHPs) to complete a variety of documentation to HHS to confirm compliance with electronic transaction standards established by the HHS under HIPAA Rules. The main objective pf proposed...

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GDPR to be incorporated in new UK Data Protection Bill
Oct10

GDPR to be incorporated in new UK Data Protection Bill

The British Government has completeded the Data Protection Bill that aims to align the country’s data protection regime with the soon to be introduced European Union General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). This will allow UK citizens to have more control over their private personal information and impose harsher penalties on the companies that breach the laws. The Bill is part of the multi-billion National Cyber Security Strategy....

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DDoS Attacks Follow Increase in Flusihoc Botnet Activity Increases
Oct09

DDoS Attacks Follow Increase in Flusihoc Botnet Activity Increases

DDoS attacks are being implemented using the Flusihoc Botnet, some as recording speeds as quick as 45 Gbps according to investigators at Arbor networks. The Flusihoc botnet has been in action for a minimum two years, although activity has grown over the last few months, with more than 900 attacks initiated using the Flusihoc botnet over the past four months. The botnet has in excess of 48 active command and control servers, although...

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Matrix Ransomware Campaign Detected by Security Researcher
Oct09

Matrix Ransomware Campaign Detected by Security Researcher

A new Matrix ransomware malvertising campaign has been detected by security researcher Jérôme Segura. The campaign employs malicious adverts to send users to a site hosting the Rig exploit kit. Flash and IE weaknesses are exploited to install the malicious file-encrypting payload. The Matrix ransomware is not a threat that hasn’t been seen before, having first been experienced in late 2016. The ransomware variant was used in...

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Redlock Report: Cloud Storage Services are Misconfigured in over Half of Businesses
Oct09

Redlock Report: Cloud Storage Services are Misconfigured in over Half of Businesses

According to a recent study by cloud threat defense firm RedLock, more than half of businesses have made mistakes that have exposed sensitive data in the cloud. The report reveals that as muc as 53% of organizations are not following established security best practices, such as using multi-factor authentication for all privileged account holders. Worse again, many businesses are notmonitor their cloud environments constantly which...

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PHI of 10,500 Patients Found Exposed in Basement Owned by Psychiatrist
Oct08

PHI of 10,500 Patients Found Exposed in Basement Owned by Psychiatrist

The medical details of over 10,000 patients of an Illinois-based psychiatrist – Dr. Riaz Baber, M.D. – have been found in the accessible basement of an Aurora property by the woman who was renting the accommodation from the psychiatrist. It is believed that the files had been left in the basement for a minimum of four years. Barbara Jarvis-Neavins, the family renting the accommodation, is believed to have been given a key to the...

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Hackers Able to Gain Access Using New Rowhammer Exploit
Oct08

Hackers Able to Gain Access Using New Rowhammer Exploit

The Rowhammer exploit was first identified three years ago and was seen enabling hackers to access devices by using DRAM memory cells. Rowhammer attacks uses the close proximity of memory cells, making them leak their charge and change the make up of neighboring memory cells. The cyber attack involves sending constant read-write operations using carefully crafted memory access patterns to constantly activate the same memory rows,...

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Yahoo Data Breach Saw 3 Billion Accounts Breached in 2013

After it was first discovered the 2013 Yahoo data violation was quickly found to have affected many of the company’s customers and in December 2016 it was announced that 1 billion accounts had been compromised. In September 2016, prior to that announcement, a separate breach was discovered that affected approximately half a billion email accounts. Now Verizon, which completed the purchase of Yahoo in Summer 2017, has found the 2013...

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51,000 Plan Members Affect by Network Health Phishing Attack
Oct06

51,000 Plan Members Affect by Network Health Phishing Attack

Network Health, a Wisconsin-based insurer, has contact 51,232 of its plan members to advise them that some of their protected health information (PHI) hmay have been obtained by unauthorized persons. Last August,  a number of Network Health staff members received sophisticated phishing emails. Two of those members of staff replied to the scam correspondence and handed over their login credentials to the cyber attackers, who used those...

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U.S. Organizations Targeted by FormBook Malware Attacks
Oct05

U.S. Organizations Targeted by FormBook Malware Attacks

The majority of Formbook malware cyber attacks have focused on specific industry sectors in the United States and South Korea, but there is some worry that the malware will be employed in more attacks worldwide. So far, the Aerospace industry, defense contractors and the manufacturing sector have been mainly targeted; however, attacks have not been restrcited to these sectors. The financial services, energy and utility companies,...

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Multi-Function Printers Flaw Risks Password Security
Oct05

Multi-Function Printers Flaw Risks Password Security

Ruhr University Researchers have uncovered significant security flaws in multi-function printers which may be exploited remotely by hackers to shut down the printers, or more worryingly, modify documents or steal user passwords. Hackers might aslo exploit the flaws in order to physically damage printers. The security flaws have already been found in HP, Lexmark and Dell multi-function printers. Twenty such printers are now recognised...

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