August 2021

Cyber Security Update

Cyber Security Update August 2021

We believe there is a need for additional information when it comes to cybersecurity, as organizations have made it clear that investing in a proper security strategy is paramount. SoftwareONE’s monthly Cyber Security Update provides information on the most recent threats and breaches and how to react to them in order to stay on top of malware and ransomware threats.

Latest Security Breaches

LockBit ransomware group threatens data leak: Bangkok Airways discovered a data breach involving passport information and other personal data.

Accenture suffers LockBit Ransomware Attack: The threat actor is demanding $50M in exchange for more than 6 TB of data.

A cyberattack on T-Mobile exposed the information of more than 40 million people, with stolen files including names, birthdays and social security numbers.

A ransomware attack at a Singapore eye clinic has potentially exposed the personal data of more than 73,000 patients.

Microsoft Power Apps data leak fallout: 38 million records exposed, several coronavirus tracing and vaccination portals breached.

Hackers have stolen data from the UK-based social housing group ForHousing and Liberty, which has thousands of tenants and other clients.

Cybersecurity Awareness

The Ragnarok ransomware gang appears to have gone out of business. The group has scrubbed its public presence from the dark web, leaving behind a master decryptor key at the “leak site” it used to blackmail its victims.

Amazon gets record $888M EU fine over data violations. The fine follows a probe based on a complaint by a French privacy group.

A Nigerian threat actor has been observed attempting to recruit employees by offering them to pay $1M in bitcoins to deploy Black Kingdom ransomware on companies' networks as part of an insider threat scheme.

New data breach report: The number of data breaches in Australia because of ransomware attacks grew by 24% during the first half of 2021, underscoring the growing threats posed by the global proliferation of ransomware in recent years.

A recently discovered vulnerability in Atlassian Confluence (CVE-2021-26084) allows an unauthenticated user to execute arbitrary code on a Confluence Server or Data Center instance. CISA urges Atlassian customers to update their systems.

WhatsApp fined $266M by EU privacy watchdog over data breach. Violations were found in the way WhatsApp explained how it processed users’ and nonusers’ data and how data was shared between WhatsApp and other Facebook companies.

Cybersecurity Intelligence

FBI warns about an increase in sextortion complaints. Oftentimes, the fraudster demands additional sexual images, sexual favors, or money, creating financial and emotional distress for the victim.

Why understanding cybersecurity is no longer optional for businesses: The White House issued an open letter calling on businesses to improve their cyber defenses in response to ransomware.

The FBI has issued a new alert, warning companies in the food and agricultural sector that they are increasingly at risk of ransomware as their corporate attack surface expands.

Hot Topic of the Month: Why Attackers Are Likely to Use Ransomware Attacks

2021 has seen many major ransomware attacks involving hefty ransom payments, leaked data, and major disruptions. Large enterprises, NGOs, hospitals, and government institutions fell victim to ransomware, resulting in enormous financial losses, operational disruptions, privacy concerns, and massive lawsuits. One of the most dramatic examples of this trend was the shutdown of the Colonial pipeline in May, leading to fuel shortages. And, as bad as it is, it’s poised to get worse. Hackers seem to be emboldened by their success and are growing more ambitious with time.

Do you want to know why ransomware attacks have become a favorite form of attack? Here are the main reasons:

  1. Quick monetary gains : Many ransomware victims choose to pay the ransom instead of involving law enforcement agencies to avoid the risk of losing their data. Moreover, attackers can easily cover their tracks through the receipt of ransom using cryptocurrencies and the dark web.
  2. Minimal legal repercussions: Ransomware attackers have discovered how to avoid legal issues, like by focusing their efforts on certain safe haven states where local laws and regulations make it easy to avoid prosecution for cybercrimes. Law enforcement agencies from various countries often find it difficult to coordinate with each other due to nonexistent, but much-needed, legal channels.
  3. Software market speed: Security loopholes are common due to the speed of the software market. Many companies do not want to spend extended time on the quality management and security evaluation of software due to fear of falling behind. These security flaws can make the attacker's job easier.
  4. Not backing up data: For small businesses in particular, the addition of tertiary storage doesn't seem like a valuable investment. When they do fall under a ransomware attack, they might often conclude that it is more cost-effective to pay the ransom rather than securing their data in advance.

    The threat of ransomware attacks is larger than ever, and there are no signs of things slowing down anytime soon. As our dependency on online services continues to rise, we'll see a highly intensified and increasingly insecure cyberspace for businesses. Preventing ransomware sometimes involves basic practices like creating strong passwords and regularly updating your systems. Educating the workforce about ransomware and its harmful effects can also go a long way in preventing these attacks.

    Staying Protected From Ransomware

    In this highly connected digital world, it has become difficult not to worry about the protection of your personal or critical data. Ransomware threats will continue to grow. Discover 4 best practices every organization can apply now to prevent losing data from a ransomware attack.

    Download our Ransomware Prevention Checklist
    • Cybersecurity, Managed Security, Cyber Threat Bulletin, Cybersecurity User Awareness
    • Cyber Threats, Ransomware, Vulnerability Management

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    Bala Sathunathan

    Bala Sethunathan

    Director, Security Practice & CISO


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