Tag Archives: hacker

Breach Brief – T-Mobile

Mobile phone service provider T-Mobile has announced a data breach of its customer information.

According to a post on  the carrier’s website  the hack was discovered on August 20 by its cybersecurity team. The team shut down unauthorized access to certain information and T-Mobile quickly reported the incident to authorities. T-Mobile reported that the attackers did not get access to financial information, social security numbers, or passwords. However  the company did admit that some personal information may have been compromised including name, billing zip code, phone number, email address, account number and account type.

In a statement T-Mobile said, “Out of an abundance of caution, we wanted to let you know about an incident that we recently handled that may have impacted some of your personal information. We take the security of your information very seriously and have a number of safeguards in place to protect your personal information from unauthorized access. We truly regret that this incident occurred and are so sorry for any inconvenience this has caused you.”

T-Mobile did not report any exact number of customers affected by the breach.  But a spokesperson for the company told Motherboard that it impacted roughly  “3 percent” of its 77 million customers amounting to around two million people. “Fortunately not many,” the spokesperson said in a text message, adding she could not say the exact number, reported Motherboard.

T-Mobile is the third largest cell service provider in the U.S. with 77 million customers. The company has about half the customers of Verizon and AT&T  with 152 million and 147 million customers respectively.

Breach Brief – Ticketfly, MyHeritage

Concert ticketing service Ticketfly reported last week that it was hit by a major data breach involving the personal information of 26 million customers.

According to Ticketfly “some customer information has been compromised including names, addresses, emails, and phone numbers.” Tech news blog Engadget reported that the hacker behind the attack has uploaded much of the data to a public server and is threatening to release more.

Prior to the breach Ticketfly was warned of a flaw in its systems by the hacker. According to Motherboard.com the hacker notified Ticketfly then requested a ransom of one bitcoin in exchange for a fix. When the ransom was not paid as requested Ticketfly suffered the consequences.

Ticketfly has not said if customer’s credit card information and passwords has been compromised. However, the hacker has threatened to release more information if the ransom is not paid.

At the time this article was written the website is back online. Ticketfly is owned by San Francisco based Eventbrite.

MyHeritage.com

 

 

 

MyHeritage, an Israeli based genealogy and DNA testing service, has suffered a major data breach of its user information. According to a MyHeritage statement over 92 million customer account details were found on a server outside of MyHeritage. The data is that of of people who signed up to use the service right up to the day of the breach, October 26, 2017.

MyHeritage stated that the chief information security officer “received a message from a security researcher that he had found a file named myheritage containing email addresses and hashed password, on a private server.” Hashed passwords are encrypted representations of passwords. This means companies don’t have to store the actual password on their network but, depending on the algorithm used, hackers could still crack them.

MyHeritage claims that no other user data, such as credit cards, were compromised and DNA data are stored separate systems.

Breach Brief – Panera Bread, Saks Fifth Avenue, Orbitz

Panera, a popular bakery-cafe has admitted its website was leaking a data. According to Brian Krebs of KrebsOnSecurity.com Panera allegedly failed to fix issues with its website it knew about for nearly eight months. Panera Bread has  has over 2,100 outlets nationwide. 

Cyber security researcher Dylan Houlihan notified the company of a data leak in early August 2017. Mike Gustavison, Panera director of information security was informed of the flaw and said the company “working on a resolution.” Despite this statement the flaw was not repaired. 

Data records that leaked out contain the names, email and physical addresses, birth dates and the last four digits of the credit card numbers of Panera customers. 

Only after Krebs spoke directly with Panera chief information officer John Meister was the site shut down briefly and the data secured.  The number of customers whose data may have been compromised is estimated at 37 million.

A statement from Panera Bread said; “Panera takes data security very seriously and this issue is resolved. Following reports today of a potential problem on our website, we suspended the functionality to repair the issue. Our investigation is continuing, but there is no evidence of payment card information nor a large number of records being accessed or retrieved.”

The company urges its customers to alert for any fraudulent activity in the bank or credit accounts.

Saks Fifth Avenue/Lord & Taylor

Saks Fifth Avenue and Lord & Taylor reported a data breach affecting millions of its customers.

According to the company “a well-known ring of cybercriminals” had stolen more than 5 million credit and debit card numbers from customers. According to the New York Times the cyber criminals were able to pull off this massive heist by implanting software into the cash register systems.

Although it is early in the investigation the the hack appears to have only affected card numbers and not social security or driver’s license numbers.

The majority of the affected credit cards appear to have been used at Saks and Lord & Taylor stores between May 2017 and March 2018 and only in the New York-New Jersey areas stores. 

Both Saks 5th Ave. and Lord & Taylor are owned by the Canadian company Hudson’s Bay. The company issued the following statement;“We have become aware of a data security issue involving customer payment card data at certain Saks Fifth Avenue, Saks Off 5th and Lord & Taylor stores in North America. We have identified the issue, and have taken steps to contain it. Once we have more clarity around the facts, we will notify our customers quickly and will offer those impacted free identity protection services, including credit and web monitoring.”

Orbitz

The popular travel booking site Orbitz announced that its legacy site, Amextravel.com, was compromised due to a data breach.  Data of  880,000 customers was compromised from January 1, 2016 through December 22, 2017.

According to the company credit or debit card information was stolen along with personal information that includes the customer’s full name, date of birth, phone number, email address, physical and/or billing address and gender.  

Orbitz plans to notify all customers who’s information may have been compromised and  is providing potential victims a free year of credit monitoring services. Customers can contact Orbitz for the free service either online or by calling 855-828-3959 toll-free. 

 

Breach Brief – Gmail, Hotmail, Yahoo Email

gmailIts likely that you have either a Gmail, Hotmail or Yahoo email account. Its also likely that it has been compromised.  According to Reuters over 270 million stolen Yahoo! Mail, Gmail, Hotmail and other email account credentials are floating around in Russia’s cyber criminal underground. Email credentials are your username and password.

These stolen email credentials were discovered by Hold Security. Researchers discovered a Russian hacker going by the name of “the Collector,” saying that he was ready to give away the credentials.  “The Collector” offered the credentials to cybercrime expert Alex Holden for free just for the publicity. Holden previously uncovered breaches at Adobe, JP Morgan and Target.

The total haul of the theft was estimated to be over one billion records but the security company eliminated duplicates lowering the total number of  credentials to just 272.3 million.

Yahoo mailMost of the credentials were associated with the Mail.ru service. Email credentials from Germany and China were also found among the stash.  However a significant number belonged to U.S. email providers. The remaining stolen credentials breakdown as follows, Yahoo Mail, 40 million credentials stolen; Microsoft Hotmail, 33 million; and Gmail 24 million. It’s not known if any of these accounts have actually been breached.

The most frightening detail of this breach is that many of the emails are linked to employees of some of the largest U.S. banking, manufacturing, and retail companies. Hold Security has informed the affected companies and organizations.

Hotmail-logoIf you have a Gmail, Yahoo or Hotmail account you should immediately change your password. Experts also recommend that you set up two-step verification on your email accounts. Gmail, Yahoo and Hotmail all offer two factor authentication that sends a second password to your smartphone when you sign in.

Officials at Yahoo and Google have yet to issue a statement about the breach. Microsoft said through a spokesperson that the stolen credentials are an unfortunate reality but that it had measures in place to detect account compromise.

 

Breach Brief – 21st Century Oncology

21st centuryA Florida based cancer treatment facility announced that an unknown hacker has stolen more than 2 million patient records. In a statement 21st Century Oncology said the data breach took place on October 3, 2015, but was not discovered until November 13. The company was notified by the FBI who spotted some of the records being exchanged on hacker websites.

The stolen data contains information on both staff members and current and former cancer patients.

21st Century reported the stolen included patient names, social security numbers, physician names, diagnosis details, treatment information, and insurance plans details and affects patients in all fifty states.

Details of the breach have been withheld until now because the FBI wanted to investigate leads that might have uncovered the culprit.

Breach Brief – FBI, DHS

Seal_of_the_United_States_Department_of_Justice.svgThe personal information of nearly 30,000 federal employees, including FBI employees may have been compromised. 

According to Motherboard.com an anonymous hacker used a compromised Department of Justice email account to gain access to the department’s intranet. Using this access the hacker allegedly downloaded the personal information of more than 20,000 FBI employees and roughly 9,000 Department of Homeland Security employees. The hacker is threatening to release the information.

The compromised information includes names, job titles, e-mail addresses, and phone numbers. The attack targeted not only DHS employees, but also individuals listed as agency contractors. Other DHS staffers, such as analysts, special agents, and technicians, were also targeted.

The hacker obtained specific information to access the system by using social engineering methods while pretending to be a new employee needing assistance. The hacker claimed to be a Palestinian sympathizer who wants the U.S. to sever ties with Isreal.

A spokesman for the  Justice Department said the information doesn’t appear to include any sensitive personal details. The agency is investigating potential unauthorized access of one of its systems. A Homeland security spokesman said it’s also looking into the alleged disclosure of employee contact information. There is no statement from the FBI.

 

Breach Brief 2015 – VTech

December 2, 2015

Breach Brief – VTech

VTechDigital learning toy maker VTech reported a data breach that exposed the personal information of over five million customers and 200,000 children.

Hackers were able to retrieve the profile information of parents, including names, email addresses and passwords. They also seized secret questions and answers for password retrieval, I.P. addresses, mailing addresses and download histories.

The compromised database also contained the names, gender and birth dates of children, which is a bigger concern.

 VTech first alerted the public on Nov. 27 saying its Learning Lodge app store database had been compromised on Nov. 14.  “Learning Lodge allows our customers to download apps, learning games, e-books and other educational content to their VTech products,” the company says.

VTech makes digital-learning toys including the Digigo tablet, Kidizoom digital camera and Smartwatch, Cora the Smart Cub and Cody’s First Tablet as well as cordless phones.

In addition the breach also affected VTech’s Kid Connect service. Kid Connect allows parents to communicate with their children online, store pictures of children and parent’s and related chat logs.

In a statement VTech said the breach affected customers in about three dozen countries, including Australia, Belgium, Canada, China, Denmark, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Ireland, Luxembourg, New Zealand, Spain, the Netherlands, United Kingdom, and United States, as well as the Latin America region.

Because the data lost belongs to children this breach is considered especially disturbing. VTech allows children create their own accounts. The company has about 200,000 children’s accounts that contain first names, genders and birthdays. This information was kept in a separate database that was hacked.

Hackers who carried out the breach found it possible to match up the databases allowing them to see which kids belong to which parents. This resulted in hackers quickly seeing any child’s physical address. This combination combined with names, birthdays, parent’s email addresses opens the family up to hacker attacks. Another even more frightening possibility is that pedophiles can target children with this data.

As a result of the breach VTech has posted in its breach FAQ that it has “reached out to every account holder in the database, via email, to alert them of this data breach and the potential exposure of their account data.”  VTech has also taken some sites off line in order to  complete a “thorough security assessment and fortification.” The sites currently shut down include,Learning Lodge, sleepybearlullabytime.com, planetvtech.com and vsmilelink.com.

VTech said that its website purchases are handled by a third party payment gateway. “Our customer database does not contain any credit card information and VTech does not process nor store any customer credit card data on the Learning Lodge website.”

November 25, 2015

Breach Brief – Amazon.com

amazon-logoAmazon.com has announced a possible data breach of user passwords. ZDNet reported that Amazon has informed a currently unknown number of customers that their account passwords may have been compromised. Amazon has provided no details to the media but it said in an email that user’s passwords may have been stored or transmitted insecurely allowing hackers to possibly intercept the data. Amazon cannot verify if the passwords have been compromised but as a precaution is forcing users to change their passwords.

Amazon has also announced that users can now use two factor authentication on its website. To learn how click here.

November 21, 2015

Starwood Hotels

starwood-logo-640x3071Starwood Hotels have reported that its payments systems have been infected with malware that resulted in the loss of customer data. Starwood said hackers could see debit and credit card information of some people that dined or shopped at 54 of its hotels. According to Starwood malware was detected in payment systems at restaurants, gift shops, bars and other retail areas within hotels. However there was no malware detected at the front desk where guests pay for their stay.

The hotelier stated that the information exposed included names, card numbers, security codes and expiration dates. Contact information, PINs and loyalty programs information were not affected.

“We have no indication at this time that our guest reservation or Starwood Preferred Guest membership systems were impacted,” Starwood President Sergio Rivera wrote in a letter to affected customers. “The malware was designed to collect certain payment card information, including cardholder name, payment card number, security code and expiration date. There is no evidence that other customer information, such as contact information, Social Security numbers or PINs, were affected by this issue.”

Hotels affected in the U.S. include the St. Regis in Bal Harbour, Florida, Sheraton, Westin and W locations in Los Angeles, New York, Boston and several other cities including hotels in Canada and Puerto Rico. Starwood posted a list online of the hotels and dates malware was found at www.starwoodhotels.com/paymentcardsecuritynotice. Starwood said the malware has been cleansed from its systems and the hack dates back as far as November 2014.

For a complete list of the hotels affected click here.

November 20, 2015

Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp

secofstate-ga (1)Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp has acknowledged that a clerical error resulted in the release of voter data belonging to over six million Georgia voters. The information exposed includes voter Social Security numbers.  Kemp admitted that the data breach was in violation of policies he put in place to protect voter’s personal information.

According to Kemp’s office the file went to 12 organizations, including statewide political parties, news media organizations and Georgia GunOwner Magazine.

“Our office shares voter registration data every month with news media and political parties that have requested it as required by Georgia law,” Kemp said in a statement. “Due to a clerical error where information was put in the wrong file, 12 recipients received a disc that contained personal identifying information that should not have been included. This violated the policies that I put in place to protect voters personal information.”

“My office undertook immediate corrective action, including contacting each recipient to retrieve the disc, and I have taken additional administrative action within the agency to deal with the error,” Kemp said.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution received the disk and confirmed the data breach by searching the the personal data of a newspaper staff member. The paper was able to see the staffers Social Security number and driver’s license information.

October 5, 2015

Scottrade

Scottrade-Logo-2011KrebsonSecurity.com reported that retail stock brokerage firm Scottrade suffered a data breach affecting 4.6 million customers. The company sent out notices via email and its website.  In the notice Scottrade stated that the breach occurred between 2013 and early 2014.

It wasn’t until the FBI notified Scottrade that company even became aware of the breach. According to company spokesperson Shea Leordeanu FBI officials were investigating breaches involving financial companies when Scottrade was notified in late August of the hack.

“They  asked us not to share the information with our customers so that they could complete a part of their investigation. We were then alerted last Friday that it was all right to begin notifying our clients and we began to do that as quickly as possible,” said Leordeanu.

Although Scottrade has 3.1 million customers the breach involved the personal data of 4.6 million people who had accounts with the company before February 2014. Hackers attacked a data base with information including names, email and physical addresses and Social Security numbers. But Scottrade claimed that hackers only took customer names and addresses. Leordeanu added that the company was not exactly certain how many names and addresses were lost so all customers were notified.

Scottrade said that it does not believe that its trading platforms or any client funds were compromised only contact information. “We have not seen any indication of fraudulent activity,” said Leordeanu. The company notified its customers that all passwords are encrypted at all times. The company is offering a full year identity theft protection.

October 2, 2015

T-Mobile, Experian

ExperianLogoCredit services provider Experian reported a massive data breach. The data of 15 million people who signed up for T-Mobile services were stolen.

People who applied for T-Mobile cell service between September 2013 through September 2015 are likely impacted by the breach. T-Mobile contracted with Experian to perform credit checks of cell service applicants.

t-mobile-logoThe information stolen includes customer names, addresses, social security numbers, birthdays, driver’s license numbers, military ID numbers and passport numbers.

According to Experian hackers broke into their computer systems and raided a server containing the information. Experian said no other servers were affected.  In a public statement Experian said; “this was an isolated incident of one server and one client’s data.”

An angry T-Mobile CEO John Legere said in a public statement; “Obviously I am incredibly angry about this data breach and we will institute a thorough review of our relationship with Experian. I take our customer and prospective customer privacy VERY seriously.”

Experian, one of the big three credit reporting agencies, collects vast amounts of sensitive personal information on all American consumers. The company is not new to data thefts and  has been involved in data breaches in the past. Previous Experian data breaches saw the loss of millions of records from its database through another company. The exact number of records lost is still unknown.

September 29, 2015

Hilton Worldwide

PrintHilton Worldwide, a global hospitality company is investigating a possible data breach at its properties. The data breach may have compromised payment card data of its customers.

The data breach was reported by Cybersecurity blogger Brian Krebs on Friday. According to KrebsOnSecurity.com credit card provider VISA alerted financial institutions of a breach between April 21, 2015 and July 27, 2015, and included compromised card numbers. Hilton Hotels have not confirmed any data breach.

The data breach is not isolated to Hilton hotels alone. Besides the flagship Hilton Hotels, the subsidiaries include Embassy Suites, DoubletreeHampton Inn and Suites, and the upscale Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts. All are thought to be affected by this breach. Hotel gift shops, bars and restaurant point of sale (POS) systems may have been affected.

Although Hilton has said nothing officially several financial institutions told KrebsOnSecurity.com that the breach may date as far back as November 2014, and the hotels may still still be at risk.

Hilton has released a vague statement that neither denies nor acknowledges a data breach occurred.

“Hilton Worldwide is strongly committed to protecting our customers’ credit card information. We have many systems in place and work with some of the top experts in the field to address data security. Unfortunately the possibility of fraudulent credit card activity is all too common for every company in today’s marketplace. We take any potential issue very seriously, and we are looking into this matter.”

Trump Hotel Collection

Trump HotelUnlike Hilton Hotels Trump Hotel Collection has confirmed a malware data breach of their POS systems. The hotel confirmed the data breach after three months of investigations and the system may have been infected by malware for over a year.

The Trump Hotel Collection posted a undated “legal notice of potential security incident” on its website. The notice warned of POS breaches at  hotels in  Chicago, Honolulu, Las Vegas, New York, Miami, and Toronto. The notice did not give a specific number of customers who may be affected by the breach.

A statement from Trump Hotels said, “Payment card data, including payment card account number, card expiration date, security code, and names of individual cardholders who used a payment card at the hotel between May 19, 2014, and June 2, 2015, may have been affected.”  The hotel also warns that attackers may have also obtained cardholders’ names at the Las Vegas and Honolulu hotels.

A year of identity theft protection from Experian is being offered to all customers who used a payment card at those properties during the malware-infection period. A breach-notification letter is being sent to affected consumers by the law practice of Norton Rose Fulbright, which was posted by California’s Office of the Attorney General.

September 22, 2015

Systema Software

Systema SoftwareA mysterious data breach has compromised private health records and contact information of as many as 1.5 million Americans. The data was posted on Amazon’s cloud services. The insurers affected by the data breach include Kansas’ State Self Insurance FundCSAC Excess Insurance Authority, and the Salt Lake County Database .

The data exposed included police injury reports, drug tests, names, addresses, phone numbers, biological health information including existing illnesses and current medications used by the patients. The information was posted to Amazon servers by insurers using Systema Software. Systema provides insurance claims administration systems to insurance corporations and governments. The breach could violate HIPAA laws.

It is unknown how or who posted the information and the number of affected patients remains unconfirmed. It is estimated that as many as 1 million Social Security numbers, 5 million financial transactions, and hundreds of thousands of injury reports were exposed. According to Databreaches.net the data included billing prices, various patient identification numbers, and some 4.7 million note entries including data on fraud investigations.

For more information please see Gizmodo.com

 September 10, 2015

Excellus Blue Cross Blue Shield

ExcellusBCBSExcellus BlueCross BlueShield reported a long running cyber-attack that began in December 2013 but wasn’t discovered until Aug. 5, 2015. The breach may have exposed information on as many as  10.5 million individuals. Information exposed includes individual’s names, addresses, birthdates, Social Security numbers, member IDs, financial account information, claims data and clinical information.

Cyber security firm Madiant was hired to conduct a forensic assessment of Excellus’ IT systems and discovered the breach. Excellus which is based in Rochester, N.Y., took the action after a wave of similar major cyber-attacks on other health insurers, including Anthem Inc.Premera Blue Cross, and CareFirst Blue Cross Blue Shield.

According to an Excellus spokesman of  the 10.5 million people affected 7 million were health plan members. Data belonging to another 3.5 million individuals belonged to Excellus’ holding company, the Lifetime Healthcare Companies. The individuals affected are Blue Cross Blue Shield plan members who sought treatment in the New York state service area. In a statement Excellus said,  “Individuals who do business with us and provided us with their financial account information or Social Security number are also affected.” Company officials said the that the data was encrypted but that hackers had access to administrative controls making the encryption a moot point.

The company is cooperating with an FBI investigation.

California State University

California_State_University_SealOfficials of the Chancellor’s office of the California State University System confirmed on Tuesday that a third-party vendor had exposed the personal information of 79,000 students in late August.

We End Violence, the San Diego based company that operated with the university to offer the course, has contacted students affected by the breach. The chancellor’s office said officials took immediate action to safeguard student information.

The CSU Chancellor’s Office in Long Beach said the breach, discovered on August 28th, included information such as sexual orientation, gender, email and mailing addresses. According to school officials the breach did not reveal Social Security, driver’s license numbers or credit card data. The data breach affected students at eight CSU campuses who had enrolled in a required sexual assault training class. The affected campuses included Cal State San BernardinoCal State NorthridgeCal Poly Pomona and Cal State Los Angeles.

August 24, 2015 

IRS Breach

IRS_LogoThe Internal Revenue Service (IRS) widened the scope of the breach first announced in May. The government agency is saying that as many as 390,000 taxpayers are now at risk. The hack was centered around the IRS’ Get Transcript system.

The IRS suspended the Get Transcript online service in May. The service was intended to simplify how taxpayers retrieve their tax records, review their tax account transactions, get line-by-line tax return information or wage and income reported to the IRS for a specific tax year.  Hackers circumvented the Get Transcript’s authentication safeguards and are believed to have gained access to taxpayer information, including Social Security numbers.

According to an August 17th statement the IRS stepped up its investigation of the breach. A deeper review of the compromised system included analyzing over 23 million system uses, including the 2015 filing season. Investigators were looking for suspicious activities and identified “more questionable attempts” to obtain taxpayer records through the Web application.

No details were provided on how the agency uncovered the additional taxpayer account breaches. But it is believed that the hackers were very skillful and probably covered their tracks to make it more made it difficult for the tax agency to quickly assess the extent of the breach.

Update-Ashley Madison Breach

ashley-madison-hed-2014Hackers who stole profile and customer data from Ashley Madison have released the data online. According to multiple reports a 10GB file of customer’s personal data including email addresses, member profiles and transaction data is now available online. Some reports say as many as 32 million customer’s information was released including one million UK civil servants, U.S. officials, members of the U.S. armed forces and top executives at European and North American corporations. There already reports of blackmail and divorce petitions because of the data release.

Impact Team, the hacker group claiming credit for the data theft,  released the data after Avid Life Media, which owns Ashley Madison and Established Men failed to meet demands that they permanently shut the sites down down. Cougar Life, another Avid Life Media site, was not mentioned and seems to be unaffected.

Additional information;

The Blackmail of Ashley Customer Has Already Begun

People are already starting divorce proceedings because of the Ashley Madison leak.

After the devastating hack, these lawsuits are threatening to wipe Ashley Madison out altogether.

A chart made from the leaked Ashley Madison data reveals which states in the US like to cheat the most.

The Pentagon Is Investigating the Ashley Madison Leak.

How to check if an account was exposed in the Ashley Madison hack

August 4, 2015

United Airlines

united_continental_logo_detAccording to Bloomberg Business United Airlines has reported that it’s customer flight records have been lost to a data breach.

The breach was detected in May or June of this year and involved flight manifests. Chinese hackers are suspected. These same Chinese hackers are suspected of stealing more than twenty million OPM records. Experts believe that Chinese intelligence is constructing a massive database.

United Airlines is one of the government’s largest contractors. It is believed that the stolen data contains vast amounts of information on military and government officials and federal employee’s travel.

Experts have also questioned a possible connection between the hack and the computer glitch that caused flight delays on July 8th. Evidence from the investigation reveal that hackers may have been inside United’s computers for months.

A spokesman for United Airlines declined to confirm that a breach occurred and insisted that customer’s private data is safe.

One of the major concerns is that hackers, tinkering with sensitive systems, could accidently or deliberately, cause massive flight delays or even cripple a major airline causing nationwide and potentially global aviation gridlock. Another concern is backdoors left inside computer networks that allow hackers back in at will.

United spokesman Luke Punzenberger said of customer information that United “would abide by notification requirements if the situation warranted.”

Medical Informatics Engineering

mielogolargeA data breach at Medical Informatics Engineering has compromised the data of over 3.9 million people nationwide. According MIE the information loss includes names, phone numbers, mailing addresses, user names, hashed passwords, security questions and answers, email addresses, birthdates, Social Security numbers, lab results, health insurance policy information, diagnoses, disability codes, doctors’ names, medical conditions, and spouses’ and childrens’ names and birthdates.

MIE creates electronic medical records software for health care providers and the result of the breach could impact as many as 11 healthcare providers including local, national and the federal government.

According to the company the hackers had access to the MIE servers for three weeks and have stolen the information to sell on the black market. Experts suspect the theft was likely and inside job.

MIE has reported the breach to the FBI Cyber squad and said the investigation into the security breach is ongoing. MIE  is offering free credit monitoring and identity theft protection. The company has established a toll free hotline available Monday-Friday 9:00AM-9:00PM EST at (866) 328-1987.

 July 28, 2015

Experian

ExperianLogo

Experian Credit Reporting Services is the target of a class action lawsuit filed in California. The amount is to be determined. According to the suit Experian was negligent and violated consumer protection laws because it failed to realize that for nearly a year a customer of it’s data brokerage subsidiary, Court Ventures, was actually a criminal gang specializing in selling consumer data to identity thieves. Experian purchased Court Vnetures in 2012.

The leader of the identity theft ring was sentenced to 13 years in prison last week in New Hampshire. Hieu Minh Ngo accessed as many as 200 million consumer records by posing as a private investigator based in the United States.

According to the government Ngo collected nearly $2 million from his scheme. The IRS has confirmed that 13,673 U.S. citizens had their personal information stolen and sold on Ngo’s websites Superget.info and Findget.me. The stolen identities were used to file over $65 million dollars in fraudulent tax returns.

Plaintiffs in the case have asked the court to compel Experian to notify all consumers affected by the breach, provide free credit monitoring services, turn over all profits made as a result of the Ngo relationship and to establish a fund to reimburse victims for the time and expenses of fighting fraud and correcting identity theft caused by customers of Ngo’s ID theft service.

U.S Census Bureau

2000px-Census_Bureau_seal.svgThe U.S. Census Bureau reported a data breach early last week. In a written statement released on Friday Census Bureau Director John H. Thompson said a database belonging to the Federal Audit Clearinghouse had been attacked. The FAC collects audit reports from the government agencies and other organizations spending federal money.

According to Thompson the information included the names of people who submitted information, addresses, phone numbers, user names and other data. According the Bureau no household or business data was lost.

In the statement Thompson wrote that the intruders accessed the database through a configuration setting on an external IT system. That system is separate from the Census Bureau internal systems that stores census data.

In the statement Thompson went to say, “Over the last three days, we have seen no indication that there was any access to internal systems.”

The attack was apparently in protest of the Trans-Pacific Partnership and the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership. Both are pending trade agreements that have been widely criticized. A group calling itself Anonymous Operations claimed credit for the breach and posted a link on Twitter to four of the stolen files.

July 20, 2015

Ashley Madison

ashley-madison-hed-2014A hacking group calling itself the Impact Team has hacked into the sex hookup website AshleyMadison.com.

According to Krebsonsecurity.com massive caches of customer and company data have been stolen and posted online. The group claims to have totally penetrated the company’s networks taking control of the company’s customer database of 37 millon users, financial records and other proprietary information. As a website dedicated to cheating spouses the damage could go well beyond lost data.

Avid Life Media, which in addition to Ashley Madison also owns hookup sites CougarLife.com and EstablishedMen.com, was attacked in retaliation for lying to customers. According to the Impact Team hackers ALM advertised to customers  a service allowing members to completely erase their profile information for a $19 fee. According to the hackers the company is not fully deleting user’s information including personally identifiable information, user’s purchase details and real name and address.

The hackers have demanded that Ashley Madison and Established Men websites be taken down immediately and permanently or more information will be released online.  The hackers are threatening to release customer records, including profiles with their secret sexual fantasies and matching credit card transactions, real names and addresses, and employee documents and emails.

Avid Life Media CEO Noel Biderman believes the attack maybe the work of one or more persons, possibly an employee or contractor, who had legitimate access to the company’s network.

July 18, 2015

CVSPhoto.com, Costocophotocenter.com, RiteAid Photo, Sams Club, Walgreens & Tesco

CVS PhotoPNI Digital Media  is a third party vendor that handles transactions for these retailers according to KrebsOn Security.com PNI has suffered a data breach of unknown size. But it is known that customer payment information has been compromised.

Neither PNI nor any of the retailers connected with the breach have said much only saying that more information will be released as it becomes available. CVSPhoto.com took down its photo site and posted an announcement indicating an investigation is under way and that other CVS sites such as it’s pharmacy were unaffected by the breach. CVS has asked customers who used the photo service to check and monitor their card statements for suspicious activity or transactions. If anything looks strange they are to contact their bank or card company immediately to report it.

Costcophotocenter.com and RiteAid photo also took their sites down.

UCLA Health

UCLA Health has confirmed health information for as many as 4 million individuals has been exposed as a result of a data breach that may have began last September. The FBI is investigating and UCLA has hired a private forensics experts to beef up the security on it’s servers.

According to a UCLA Health statement released on Friday “criminal hackers” hacked into parts of the organization’s computer network containing personal and medical information.

UCLA Health began investigating suspicious activity on its networks in October of 2014. At the time they  did not believe the attackers gained access to areas of the network containing personal and medical information.

“As part of that ongoing investigation, on May 5, 2015, UCLA Health determined that the attackers had accessed parts of the network that contain personal information such as names, addresses, dates of birth, Social Security numbers, medical record numbers, Medicare or health plan ID numbers and some medical information. Based on the continuing investigation, it appears that the attackers may have had access to these parts of the network as early as September 2014. We continue to investigate this matter.”

Office of Personnel Management

Even though OPM suffered a data breach and the loss of information of 24 million Americans the government still has not notified those invividuals. Its been two months.

Officials from multiple agencies familiar with the investigation say that OPM is working with other agencies to set up a system to inform the victims.

An OPM official, who wishes to remain anonymous, said that because of the complicated nature of the data and movement of contract and federal employees it would be weeks before a mechanism was in place.

According to the official the government is attempting to establish a central notification system rather than rely on separate agencies to make notifications. An outside contractor  is being considered for the task but OPM has not yet asked for bids for the job.

July 16, 2015

OPM Data Breach

An interagenOPM Sealcy task force investigating April’s OPM hacking has determined with “high confidence” that as many as 21.5 million people had their personal information stolen. This includes social security numbers .

The Office of Personnel Management updated its website last Thursday with the startling new information.

According to the OPM 4.2 million former federal employees’ personnel data was stolen. While investigating that theft investigators found a much larger data theft. OPM has not yet notified the 19.7 million additional individuals affected. Those are the people who requested a background check normally for employment purposes or acces to classified information. An additional 1.8 were people were not job appicants but were either married to or co-habiting with an applicant.

In addition to personal information the hackers stole as many as one million fingerprint records.

Applicants who applied for employment had their user names and passwords for investigation forms stolen. It is also highly possible that information such as mental health history and financial history many have also been stolen. Applicants that were interviewed as part of their background investigations often reveal this sensitive information when applying for security clearences.

OPM attempted to take some of the sting from the bad news by saying “there is no evidence that health, financial, payroll, and retirement records of federal personnel or those who have applied for a federal job were impacted by this incident (for example, annuity rolls, retirement records, USAjobs, Employee Express).” The agency assures the public that it’s working to create safeguards to prevent such incidents in the future.

OPM Director Katherine Archuleta resigned her position last week after whitering criticism over the data breach.

Army National Guard Data Breach

Seal_of_the_United_States_Army_National_Guard.svgCurrent and former members of the Army National Guard members dating back to 2004 had personal information including social security numbers, birthdates and home addresses stolen.

National Guard Spokesman Major Earl Brown, said “The National Guard Bureau takes the control of personal information very seriously,” said Brown. “After investigating the circumstances of these actions, and the information that was transferred, the Guard has determined, out of an abundance of caution, to inform current and past Guard personnel that their Personally Identifiable Information (PII) was among the files that were transferred.”

“The issue was identified and promptly reported, and we do not believe the data will be used unlawfully,” Brown said. “This was not a hacking incident, in which the intent was to use data for financial gain. Nonetheless, the Guard believes that individuals potentially affected need to know about the breach and what actions they can take to protect themselves from potential identity theft.”

If you are a member of the Nationa guard and need more information please  go to http://www.nationalguard.mil/Features/IdentityTheft.aspx or call  toll-free 877-276-4729 8AM to 4PM EST, Monday through Friday. You can also email any questions you have to dod.data.breach.questions@mail.mil

1.4 Million Hacked Chryslers Recalled

Logo_Fiat_Chrysler_AutomobilesChrysler has recalled 1.4 million cars because of  a terrifying hacker demonstration. Hackers have released a video of a Chrysler Jeep being controlled by hackers leaving the driver helpless. Chrysler cars subject to the recall are 2015 Dodge Ram pickup, Challenger and Viper cars, Jeep Cherokee and Grand Cherokee SUVs.

African-Americans love theirs. Let’s just be real with that. A new car is a symbol of success and sophistication. Cars have become technologically advanced and automakers are rushing to get as much connectivity into cars as possible for multiple reasons.  Modern automobiles depend on computers and the Internet to function at the maximum possible efficiency. At the same time this technology allows the owner to enjoy luxuries and access to information and services unheard of in automotive history. But there is a price to pay for being connected and it’s more than the monthly payment.

Internet connectivity is used to collect vehicle data, perform over the air updates and improve car safety. However one of the biggest reasons is money. Business Insider predicts that 75 percent of cars wil have be capable of connecting to the Internet by 2020. Car companies see connectivity as a selling point. Sales from connected cars are expected to exceed $152 billion by 2020. But entertainment is not a major selling point for connected cars. Safety is.

But connectivity, even in your car, means hackers and hackers have become the newest danger on the highway.

Recently two hackers, Charlie Miller, security researcher for Twitter and Chris Valasek, Director of Vehicle Security Research for IOActive, used their know how to exploit a weakness in Chrysler’s Uconnect on-board system.

Uconnect is found on board literally hundreds of thousands of Fiat Chrysler cars, SUVs and trucks. Because of the car’s cellular connection anyone who can discover the car’s IP address can take control of it from anywhere in the country. “From the attacker’s perspective, it’s a super nice vulnerability,” says Miller.

From a distance of a few miles the men were able hack a Jeep Cherokee SUV and turn on the air conditioning, change the radio station and turn the windshield wipers on and off. Not only were they able to do all this but they also projected their images on the dashboard screen.

These commands entered the car’s computers through the entertainment system. It became really terrifying when the hackers took control of the accelerator, steering, brakes, transmission and ignition systems. They literally hijacked a moving vehicle leaving the driver helpless.

Miller and Valasek reported their hack to Fiat Chrysler who issued a patch for the vulnerability. The software patch can be downloaded online from Chrysler’s website but a dealership mechanic has to install it. Chrysler has also issued over the air updates.

But that was simply not enough. Now Chrysler has recalled 1.4 million cars because of the hack. 

The hackers have also demonstrated this capability with the Ford Escape and Toyota Prius.

Another hacker had demonstrated the ability to hack into any GM car equipped with the OnStar system. Security researcher Samy Kamkar posted a video of a device he created that demonstrates how he can intercept communications between GM’s RemoteLink mobile app and the OnStar cloud service. He was able to unlock and start the car using the device. However the device needs a little help. A small wireless device must be placed inside the target vehicle and it must be in range of Kamkar’s device. So make sure your doors are locked when you leave you GM car or truck. According to Kamkar GM is aware of the vulnerability.

And what has GM done? GM OnStar announced that it has released a software patch to update its RemoteLink app for Apple iPhone. But that seem to have failed. Kamkar told GM officials he could still track and hack their cars. GM did not acknowledge its failure to correct the problem but Tweeted, “enhanced RemoteLink app will be available soon to fully mitigate the risk.” Kamkar confirmed to WIRED.com that the patch has indeed blocked his device.

Now the federal government has taken notice of this growing threat to highway safety. National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration chief Mark Rosekind is trying to determine just how many automakers are using wireless equipment from the same company that supplies Fiat Chrysler.

“This is a shot across the bow,” said Rosekind. “Everybody’s been saying ‘cybersecurity’. Now you’ve got to step up. You’ve got to see the entire industry proactively dealing with these things.”

Senators Ed Markey (D-MA) and Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) are crafting legislation mandating that cars sold in the U.S. meet set standards against digital attacks and owner privacy.

The bill would require the NHSTA and the Federal Trade Commission to work together to create new standards requiring automakers to meet in regards to both a vehicles’ defenses against hackers and how manufacturers can safeguard owners personal information including location records collected from the vehicles they sell.

Three major points of Markey and Blumenthal’s bill  are;

  • It will require the NHTSA and the FTC to set security standards for cars. Standards will be set to isolate critical software systems from the rest of a car’s internal network.
  • Testing will be required by security experts and onboard systems must be able to detect and respond to malicious commands on the car’s network.
  • The FTC and NHTSA will set privacy standards. Automakers will be required to inform buyers of how they collect information from the vehicles they sell and permitting drivers to opt out.
  • Restrict how the information collected can be used for marketing.
  • Manufacturers will be required to display window stickers ranking a cars security and privacy protections.

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