Should Identity Theft Protection Services Be Offered to Data Breach Victims Under HIPAA?
Oct04

Should Identity Theft Protection Services Be Offered to Data Breach Victims Under HIPAA?

The HIPAA Breach Notification Rule stated that covered bodies must advise people once their ePHI has been compromised. It is less clear if it is a requirement that credit monitoring and identity theft protection services should be be offered to those affected. HIPAA does not stata outright whether credit monitoring and identity theft protection services should be given to people affected by a data violation. The decision whether or...

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GDPR Leads Lloyds to Alter Marketing Campaigns
Oct03

GDPR Leads Lloyds to Alter Marketing Campaigns

Lloyds Banking Group has taken steps to introduce new marketing campaigns due to the coming introduction of the European Union’s GDPR legislation, a new set of guidelines on data privacy and security. Lloyds is moving from product-focused campaigns to the content-focused strategies in line with the GDPR legislation. Lloyds is one of the groups that has spent a considerable amount of money preparing for the new regulations....

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OCR Issue Clarification on HIPAA Disclosure Rules
Oct02

OCR Issue Clarification on HIPAA Disclosure Rules

The Department of Health and Human Services’ Office for Civil Rights OCR, has, following the recent attacks in Las Vegas, moved to issue a clarification on HIPAA Rules regarding disclosures to family, friends and other people. In the aftermath of Hurricane Irma and Hurricane Maria, OCR issued a partial waiver of certain provisions of the HIPAA Privacy Rule in the regions where both hurricanes occurred. Such a waiver is often, but not...

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Patch Issued for Actively Exploited Drupal Vulnerability
Sep20

Patch Issued for Actively Exploited Drupal Vulnerability

A patch for a vulnerability in Drupal (CVE-2017-6922) that has been activiley exploited for some months was released in June 2017. The flaw affects Drupal v 7.56 and 8.3.4. Drupal was aware of the flaw, an access bypass vulnerability, since October 2017. It is possible for the flaw to be exploited on misconfigured websites, permitting unidentified users to upload files which are then stored in a public file system. This means that...

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Cybercriminals with Nation-State Support Responsible for Yahoo Attack
Sep20

Cybercriminals with Nation-State Support Responsible for Yahoo Attack

InfoArmor has claimed that data from the Yahoo breach of over one billion user accounts has already been purchased on the black market by multiple third parties on numerous occasions. Although Yahoo argues that a nation-state sponsored group was responsible for the hack, research carried out by InfoArmor’s indicates otherwise and a number security experts concur. Rather a nation-state sponsored group of hackers, InfoArmor suggest that...

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Global Reports of WannaCry Ransomware Attacks
Sep18

Global Reports of WannaCry Ransomware Attacks

There has been a huge increase in WannaCry ransomware attacks around the globe, including a new campaign being launched on Friday the 13th of May 2017. Unlike previous WannaCry ransomware attacks, the present campaign takes advantage of a vulnerability that is found in Server Message Block 1.0 (SMBv1). Zero day exploits are often employed by cybercriminals, however this example would appear to have been originally developed by the...

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US-Certs: SSL Inspection Tools Might Make Cybersecurity Weaker
Sep18

US-Certs: SSL Inspection Tools Might Make Cybersecurity Weaker

A recent warning issued by US-CERT has advised that SSL inspection tools may actually do the opposite of what they are intended for; i.e. they might serve to weaken the cyber defenses of healthcare organizations’ rather than strengthen them – by making their computer systems more at risk of man-in-the-middle attacks. It should be noted that what US-CERT has alleged does not necessarily mean that the SSL inspection tools...

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Rapid Account Verification Being Offered by New Twitter Credit Card Phishing Scam
Sep18

Rapid Account Verification Being Offered by New Twitter Credit Card Phishing Scam

Proofpoint, the cybersecurity firm, has confirmed that is has discovered a new Twitter credit card phishing scam. Users of the social media platform Twitter are being offered verified account status via native Twitter ads; the catch being that signing up requires the provision of credit card details, which are then communicated to the attackers. Obtaining verified account status is normally a complicated and lengthy process. Public...

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Windows Dialog Box Mimicked By Newly Discovered Trojan Downloader
Sep18

Windows Dialog Box Mimicked By Newly Discovered Trojan Downloader

Dr. Web, a Russian antivirus firm has recently discovered a new Trojan downloader. The malware uses a popup Windows ‘Save As’ dialog box to install malicious payloads, which have thus far all been adware. The malware, dubbed “Trojan.Ticno.1537”, installs variety of adware together with a malicious extension for Google Chrome. According to Dr. Web, the Ticno Trojan is downloaded via a separate malware and is then packaged in a single...

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Wi-Fi Routers Infected by Switcher Trojan through Android Mobiles
Sep18

Wi-Fi Routers Infected by Switcher Trojan through Android Mobiles

Kaspersky Lab has identified a highly dangerous new Trojan which has been used to attack Wi-Fi routers through Android devices. The new form of malware, which has been dubbed the Switcher Trojan, is presently being employed to attack routers based in China. Nonetheless, Kaspersky Lab researchers have warned that the new malware could indicate a new and dangerous trend that could well become a world-wide concern. Ordinarily, attackers...

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Erie County Medical Center Patients Put at Risk by Apparent Ransomware Attack
Sep18

Erie County Medical Center Patients Put at Risk by Apparent Ransomware Attack

Ashland Women’s Health confirmed in April 2017 that it had been the victim of a significant ransomware attack.19,272 Ashland patients were affected. This followed confirmation the previous week that ABCD pediatrics ransomware attack had put 55,447 patients at risk. On Sunday 9th April, a third healthcare provider became aware that it had received a ‘virus’ via email which had made its way onto the organisation’s network. In New...

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SMB File Sharing Protocol Flaw Made Public Before Release of Patch
Sep17

SMB File Sharing Protocol Flaw Made Public Before Release of Patch

Details of a SMB file sharing protocol flaw in Windows have been made public some 12 days prior to the release of a patch by Microsoft. Laurent Gaffié, the researcher who published details of the flaw, has claimed that Microsoft had been aware of the issue for around 3 months beforehand yet failed to act to patch the vulnerability. An attacker who exploits the SMB file sharing protocol flaw would be able to crash Windows 10 and 8.1...

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San Francisco Transport System Ransomware Attack Reported

A ransomware attack on the San Francisco Transport System in November 2016 resulted in the encryption of computers used by the city’s light rail system. The criminals responsible for the attack demanded ransom of 100 Bitcoin (approxiately $70,000) for the key to unlock the encryption. The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA) stated that although the attack put its computer systems out of action, transport remained...

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Investigation into Ransomware Infection Affecting 19,000 People

One of Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield’s (Delaware) subcontractors has fallen victim to a ransomware infection and cyberattack that may have put private information relating to almost ninetenn thousand beneficiaries of employer-paid health plans at risk. The attack happened on the 5th of August 2016 at Highmark BCBS subcontractor Summit Reinsurance Services, however affected individuals were only notified of the incident in...

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Diagnostics Website Flaw at ‘True Health’ Reveals Private Patient Information
Aug18

Diagnostics Website Flaw at ‘True Health’ Reveals Private Patient Information

Patients of the True Health Group have had their health reports exposed online due to a law in the True Health Diagnostics website. Moreover, the reports appear to have been viewable by other patients for months if not years. Based in Frisco, Texas, True Health Diagnostics is a company that offers a broad range of testing services for genetic and other diseases. It operates an online portal that patients can access in order to consult...

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Sentara Healthcare: Investigation into Data Breach
Aug17

Sentara Healthcare: Investigation into Data Breach

Sentara Healthcare is currently carrying out an investigation into a data breach affecting one of its 3rd-party vendors which allowed a number of patients’ protected health information to be accessed by an unauthorized person. Sentara Healthcare was alerted to a possible ePHI breach by police officers on the 17th of November 2016. An internal investigation was promptly begun in order to identify the origin of the breach. Investigators...

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Yahoo Breach Investigated By U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission

It has been confirmed that the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) are to investigate Yahoo concerning two enormous data breaches that were made public in late 2016. The controls put in place by Yahoo to prevent data breaches will not fall under the SEC investigation, but rather if the web services provider took too long to inform its investors of the breaches. Yahoo publicly acknowledged in September 2016 that it had been...

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Samba possibly vulnerable to ‘WannaCry’-type attacks

It has been revealed that Samba might possibly be vulnerable to network worm attacks similar to those which were utilized to deliver WannaCry ransomware on the 12th of May 2017. Unix, Linux and numerous NAS devices use Samba to add Windows file and print sharing services. Additionally, Samba may be employed as an Active Directory server on Windows networks for access control. Samba’s protocol is based on Windows Server Message...

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Industrial Sector targetted by Ransomware Attackers using KillDisk Variant

In late 2016, a new ransomware variant emerged which is now being used in attacks on industrial companies. Unlike other ransomware variants, the new malware does not permanently lock users’ files. Victims have been threatened with full disk deletion should they fail to pay the ransom, and it has been confirmed that the ransomware has the capability to do exactly that. The variant that is being used by the attackers is a modified...

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ABCD Pediatrics Hit By Ransomware Attack Affecting 55,000 Patients

The private health information relating to more than 55,000 patients may have been compromised in during a ransomware attack against ABCD Pediatrics on the 6th of February 2017. Attackers managed to access ABCD Pediatrics’ servers following which Dharma ransomware was installed and consequently some PHI was encrypted. Dharma ransomware has been identified by experts as a variant of CrySiS ransomware. CrySiS ransomware proved to be one...

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New Powershell Remote Access Trojan Identified

Researchers at Cisco Talos have recently identified a new Powershell remote access Trojan. The memory-resident malware is almost impossible to detect because it doesn’t write files to the computer’s hard drive and uses a new way of communicating with its C2. The infection is spread via a malicious Microsoft Word document sent as an email attachment. Cisco Talos has warned that only 6 out of 54 AV engines recognize the...

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Victims Offered A Criminal Choice by “Popcorn Time” Ransomware

New methods of spreading ransomware are constantly being developed; however, a new ransomware variant discovered by MalwareHunterTeam researchers called “Popcorn Time” appears to use tactics that have never before been seen. When Popcorn Time ransomware has infected a victims device they are given a choice between two options: They can pay the ransom and thereby regain access to their encrypted files, or, rather more unusually, they...

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Ransomware Attacks Targetting Businesses Now Using PetrWrap

A new group of criminals have taken control of Petya ransomware and are using it in ransomware attacks against businesses without the participation or knowledge of those who created the ransomware. Those responsible for the new PetrWrap campaign developed Petya ransomware by adding a module to it that serves to modify the ransomware ‘on the fly’, taking control of the encryption process in such a manner that even the authors of Petya...

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Molina Healthcare Patients’ Data Exposed by Portal Security Flaw

A security flaw in a patient portal has exposed information concerning patient claims. Claims information had previously been uploaded to the patient portal of Molina Healthcare, which is a managed care company based in Long Beach, California. This in itself is not abnormal, however the flaw meant that the information was in fact accessible without any authentication checks. Some patients with claims pending had been sent a link to...

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“Patch Tuesday”: Sixty-eight Microsoft Vulnerabilities Repaired

Patch Tuesday 2016: Microsoft has acted to fix 68 vulnerabilities including 6 that had been rated critical. The updates have been spread over fourteen security bulletins. The updates include fixes for 2 vulnerabilities that are presently being actively exploited including the CVE-2016-7255 vulnerability that was announced by Google in October 2016. Google decided to announce the vulnerability within 10 days of informing Microsoft...

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Warning Issued by OCR to Providers of Healthcare Regarding Use of HTTPS Inspection Tools

Numerous healthcare organization employ HTTPS inspection tools in order to monitor HTTPS connections for any malware which may be present. HTTPS inspection tools are used to decrypt secure HTTPS network traffic and verify content prior to re-encrypting traffic. The purpose of HTTPS inspection tools is to enhance security, however the Department of Health and Human Services’ Office for Civil Rights has recently issued a warning which...

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Thousands of Sites at Risk from Newly Identified Zero Day WordPress Vulnerability

A Sucuri researcher has recently discovered a new zero day WordPress vulnerability in the WordPress REST API. The vulnerability permits content injection and the escalation of user privileges. Should it be exploited, an unauthenticated user might be able to make modifications to any content found on the WordPress sites, which could include the addition of malicious links or exploit kits, therefore turning totally harmless sites into...

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Victims Being Blackmailed by Newly Discovered Ransomware Variant
Aug15

Victims Being Blackmailed by Newly Discovered Ransomware Variant

Proofpoint researchers have recently identified a previously unknown ransomware variant, known as “Ransoc”, which employs various techniques to extort money from its victims. As opposed to the encryption of a broad range of file types and then demanding that a ransom be paid by the victims in exchange of a key to unlock the affected data, in the case of Ransoc the victims are simply blackmailed into making payment. In standard cases...

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Recent Discovery of Social Engineering Scam on LinkedIn
Aug15

Recent Discovery of Social Engineering Scam on LinkedIn

A new LinkedIn social engineering scam has been uncovered by researchers at Heimdal Security which tries to convince LinkedIn users to give their personal information. The attackers have been attempting to obtain access to users’ financial data together with identity documents, e.g. passport and driver’s license numbers, which can then be exploited in order to commit identity theft. A rather common social engineering technique,...

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Latest Business Email Compromise Scam Methods Revealed

Numerous email compromise tactics have for some time been in use by scammers to trick business executives into making fraudulent wire transfers. Recently, a Symantec security specialist has observed that some scammers have begun taking a new approach in order to increase BEC scams’ rate of success. The biggest problem that the scammers face is trust. Although over-worked executives may become complacent and fail to sufficiently...

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Vulnerability in Netgear Router leads to US-CERT Alert to Replace Devices

A Netgear router vulnerability which remained unpatched for approximately 3 months was recently made public, a disclosure which placers users at risk of their devices being exploited by hackers. The threat is so large that US-CERT issued a strong warning to every user of the devices urging them them to their Netgear routers immediately. The US-CERT Coordination Center located at Carnegie Mellon University attributed a vulnerability...

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Microsoft Security Bulletins to be discontinued In January 2017

If yours is one of many businesses which depend upon Microsoft Security Bulletins to remain informed about new patches and fixes to known vulnerabilities, you and your colleagues should prepare yourselves for an upcoming change in the way Microsoft announces security fixes. In blog post in late 2016, Microsoft confirmed that its Security Bulletins would be coming to an end in January 2017. Starting in February 2017, any patches and...

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Data Breach at Med Center Health affects almost 160,000 of its Patients
Aug09

Data Breach at Med Center Health affects almost 160,000 of its Patients

The FBI has been investigating a large Med Center Health data breach that affects many affiliates and approximately 160,000 patients. Hackers are not believed to be responsible for the Med Center Health data breach, in fact it is thought that the data was stolen by an ex-employee. It is understood that the thief took a large variety of personal data such as the names, home addresses, insurance information, procedure codes, billing...

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Madison County Invests $220K in Cybersecurity Following Ransomware Attack

The payment of a $21,000 ransom to attackers following the Madison County ransomware attack that disabled a large number of the county’s computer systems in November 2016 was necessitated as a viable backup of the data concerned did not exist. In accordance with the County’s insurance company’s advice, the ransom was paid. It has been confirmed that Madison County will not have to foot the entire cost of the ransom, but rather...

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Malicious Word Macros Responsible for Spreading MacOS Malware

According to IT Security researchers, MacOS malware is now being spread by malicious Word macros. This is the first occasion on which MacOS malware has been recognised as having been used to spread this attack vector. Windows users can anticipate that they are vulnerable to attack with malware, however until now Mac users have stayed relatively safe. The overwhelming majority of malware has Windows users as targets, malware attacks on...

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$28,000 Paid for Key following January Los Angeles Valley College Ransomware Attack

A ransomware attack on an LA Valley College on the 6th of January, 2017 lead to student data being locked and resulted in some 1,800 college staff – both administrators and teachers – being unable to gain access to their computer system and essential work files. Ransomware is a form of malicious software. The purpose of it is to encrypt a large range of file types, which can include databases. The data contained on the files is...

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OPM Data Breach Victims targetted by Locky Ransomware Campaign

The culprits responsible for Locky ransomware have begun using data obtained in the OPM data breaches of 2014 and 2015 in a new campaign designed to spread cryptoransomware. It remains unknown exactly how much data was obtained, however in total, around 22 million user records were stolen in the OPM breach. The spam emails, sent out en mass, include a malicious JavaScript file which downloads Locky onto the computers of unsuspecting...

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2017’s Biggest Healthcare W-2 Phishing Scam Impacted 17,000 Employees

The biggest healthcare W-2 phishing scam 2017 thus far has been reported by American Senior Communities of Indiana. Although a number of organizations have already reported being tricked by phishing emails this tax season, this was by a long way the largest healthcare W-2 phishing scam, affecting over 17,000 of the organization’s employees. To date, 74 organizations have already been scammed in 2017, and that number is set to rise...

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Rise in Joomla Website Attacks due to Hackers Reverse Engineering Patches

A pair of recently recognised critical vulnerabilities to the Joomla content management system are presently being utilised by hackers in a series of attacks on Joomla websites. Although the two vulnerabilities were not thought to have been exploited when first discovered, that quickly proved to be untrue. In the aftermath of release of any Joomla patch, hackers usually act quickly in order to take advantage. Ordinarily, attacks on...

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February Sees Dramatic Rise in Insider Healthcare Data Breaches
Jul28

February Sees Dramatic Rise in Insider Healthcare Data Breaches

In its most recent healthcare data breach report. Protenus has indicated that the month of February witness a significant increase in insider healthcare data breaches. The February Breach Barometer report shows that there were 31 reported healthcare data breaches during February. Although that number is equal to January 2017, when a total of 31 healthcare data breaches were also reported, the number of insider healthcare data breaches...

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Christmas Period Malware Infections Increase by more than 100% in 2016

Malware infections over the Christmas holiday period are something to be expected. Every year as the number of online shoppers increases, the number of Windows malware infections increases with them. Data from Enigma Software Group (ESG) indicates that between Black Friday and Cyber Monday in 2015, the rate of malware infections was 84% higher than it normally is. Throughout the same period in 2016, malware infections were 118% times...

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Google Acts Against Repeat Malware Offending Sites

Google has promised that it will take action against websites that are used repeatedly to serve malware, unwanted software, or are used to ‘phishing’ attacks. As soon as a website has been confirmed as a repeat offender, the Google Chrome browser will automatically issue an alert to visitors, warning them that the site is known to be used to distribute malware. The owners of the websites concerned will be given an...

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Malicious Ransomware App Removed from Play Store by Google

An app that was available to members of the public for download from the Google Play store has been discovered to have contained ransomware. In recent days, Google acted to remove the ransomware app from its Play Store, however it remains unknown how many individuals had already been infected. The malicious app concerned is named EnergyRescue. Its raison d’etre was supposedly to assist users in managing the use of their...

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FBI Informs Healthcare Providers of Risks Associated with Anonymous FTP Server Use

According to a recent warning issued by the FBI, Healthcare organizations may be placing the protected health information of their patients in jeopardy by using anonymous FTP servers. Cybercriminals are profiting from the lack of protection on FTP servers to access patients’ protected health information (PHI). Anonymous FTP servers enable unauthorised individuals to access data stored on the server. In anonymous mode, the only...

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Leak of 1.5 Million Player Profiles confirmed following ESEA Hacking Incident

E-Sports Entertainment Association (ESEA) has confirmed that it has been subject to an attempted extortion after a hacker successfully infiltrated one of its game servers. The incident enabled the hacker to steal the player profiles and other data of 1.5 million users. The hack was carried out on the 27th of December 2016. The attacker accessed an ESEA game server, then exfiltrated date, and ultimately issued a demand for $100,000...

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Disk-Wiping Malware Being Utilised to Format Virtual Desktops

Although disk-wiping malware has existed for several years, a new version of an older malware variant has now been detected. This malware is reportedly being used to attack companies which have implemented a virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI). As opposed to every employee using his or her own computer, in a virtual desktop infrastructure each one is set up with a virtual desktop on a remote server. This structure is favoured in many...

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85 Million Dailymotion Users effected by Cyberattack

LeakedSource has claimed that email addresses, usernames, and passwords have been accessed by the hackers responsible for a recent Dailymotion cyberattack. Dailymotion is one of the biggest internet video sharing platforms and, according to Alexa, is the world wide web’s 113th most popular site. Dailymotion recorded 148 million hits in April 2015. The cyberattack is believed to have happened on the 20th of October 2016....

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Cybercriminals Telephoning Customer Service Representatives to ask them to Open Malware Infected Attachments

The risk of malware and ransomware infections can be reduced by training staff to avoid opening file attachments received from unfamiliar email accounts. Despite this being common practice, a well known cybercriminal group has recently been increasing the number of infections by telephoning hotels and restaurants to ask staff to open emails with infected attachments. Trustwave has advised hotel and restaurant chains to be on the...

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Children’s Hospital in Kansas City Alerts 5,500 Patients following Potential PHI Breach
Jul17

Children’s Hospital in Kansas City Alerts 5,500 Patients following Potential PHI Breach

It has been confirmed that Kansas City Children’s Mercy Hospital has now began the process of notifying more than 5,500 patients that portions of their electronic protected health information have been exposed online. It was discovered that personally identifiable information and some protected health information had been uploaded to a website that had been set up by one of the hospital’s doctors. The website was intended to be an...

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Enterprise Firewalls Being Taken Down by Attackers Using ICMP Ping Floods

Researchers from the Danish telecom firm TDC have claimed that attackers have been using ICMP ping floods to carry out Denial of Service (DoS) attacks capable of removing enterprise firewalls. As opposed to standard DDoS attacks, the attacker does not have to use a multitude of hacked devices to accomplish the attack. It can actually be done using just one laptop computer. Moreover, the standard security measures put in place to limit...

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