IT Security News Blast 8-11-2017

Report: Arrest Made in Connection with Petya Cyber Attack

In a brief statement that was translated by ZDNet, police said that they seized computers that were used to spread the malware in the cyberattack. The statement also said that the arrested individual told police he had uploaded the malware to a file sharing account and shared a link on his blog with instructions on how to launch the malware. In total, the malware was downloaded about 400 times, police said, per the statement.

 HIMSS survey: Hospitals ramping up cybersecurity efforts

Healthcare organizations are seriously stepping up their cybersecurity programs, the 2017 HIMSS Cybersecurity Survey shows.

  • Of the 126 IT leaders surveyed, 71% said their organization budgets for cybersecurity and 60% of those said the allotment is 3% or more of the overall budget.
  • The findings, released Wednesday, suggest that recent breaches and ransomware attacks — like the massive WannaCry attack that took place in May — are driving home the need for cybersecurity preparedness at hospitals and health systems.

 Emerging Security Solutions for Healthcare, 2017 Report – Research and Markets

The use of connected devices for enhancing healthcare services is a growing trend. This has considerably increased the attack surfaces on healthcare networks that cyber attackers can leverage to gain access to confidential information such as electronic health records (EHRs), and patient’s personal details, amongst others. This edition of Network Security TOE provides a snapshot of the advanced security solutions for protection against advanced cyber threats in the healthcare sector. It provides a guideline for the various attack surfaces within a healthcare network and basic mitigation strategies for cyber attacks.–

 Internet of Medical Things Shakes Up the Development of Medical Devices with Analytics and Cloud

While the benefits are many, IoMT has inherent IT security vulnerabilities that expose highly sensitive data to cyber and phishing attacks. Technologists are attempting to resolve this issue by employing blockchain technology, which enables a highly secure, decentralized framework for data sharing. Using a combination of artificial intelligence and blockchain technology, companies can keep an audit trail of all transactions. Predictive modeling used in combination with big data analytics can reduce healthcare costs and improve patient experiences and outcomes.

 AIG Predicts Cyber Insurance From Firms In Greater China Will Skyrocket

“The big increase means the organizations are aware they really need protection,” said Cynthia Sze, head of an AIG business in Greater China, reported Reuters. AIG executives declined to quantify it beyond that. The executive, using statistics from Hong Kong Police, told Reuters that the number of cybersecurity incident reports have jumped to 6,000 in 2016 from 1,500 back in 2009. Financial losses from the ransomware cyberattacks increased from HK$45 million to HK$2.3 billion in the same time period.

 The Future Role of A.I. in the Military

“Though the United States military and intelligence communities are planning for expanded use of A.I. across their portfolios, many of the most transformative applications of A.I. have not yet been addressed,” the report, written by Greg Allen and Taniel Chan, states. “We propose three goals for developing future policy on A.I. and national security: preserving U.S. technological leadership, supporting peaceful and commercial use and mitigating catastrophic risk.”

 Cybersecurity could make an appearance in NAFTA talks

“Cybersecurity and privacy concerns need to be recognized,” John Bozzella, head of the Association of Global Automakers, said at an event this week. “E-commerce didn’t really exist in large measure in 1993, so the economy has changed and so we need an agreement to recognize those things.” The discussion demonstrates how far the digital economy has come since the original deal was signed in 1993, and how ubiquitous the cybersecurity challenges are across all policy domains.

 Ransomware In 2017: Not A Pretty Picture

Ransomware is hot. And unlike some trends, it is unlikely to be a short-term trend. Criminals have been able to easily deploy ransomware attacks, which encrypt a users’ data and hold it hostage until the victim pays a ransom, and unlike stealing personal information, there is direct payment to the criminals and no need to sell anything on the dark web. Those characteristics have made ransomware increasingly attractive to criminals. It is unsurprising, then, that ransomware attacks were up 50% in the first half of 2017, according to a July 2017 breach insight report prepared by insurer Beazely.

 Why the majority of MSPs struggle to find enough cybersecurity pros to hire

One key takeaway was that cybersecurity is no longer considered a separate or optional task for MSPs: 92% of these providers now include cybersecurity as part of their portfolio of IT services. And more than half said cybersecurity was “essential” to their customers’ operational continuity in the next three to five years. This means protection from cyberthreats will likely continue to be a top priority for MSPs and their customers going forward, the report noted.

 One easy thing your agency can do to attract more cybersecurity talent

“We’re short on people,” she said. “The spread on that is not even across the agencies, or even the departments. There are certain agencies that are hit harder. For example, NSA: the work they’re doing is interesting, they’re having a different hiring environment than for example [the Office of Personnel Management], or the Post Office, not to pick on anyone in particular.” In some of these cases, the mission, the devotion to public service, just isn’t enough to motivate candidates in the numbers required, especially in a field with so much competition for talent.

 3 things you need to know about cybersecurity in an IoT and mobile world

For the past decade and a half, mobile devices were bolted onto a company’s IT strategy because the devices themselves were what professionals used when they were traveling or between times when they were sitting at a computer. Today, there’s a lot more you can do on mobile and so mobile usage continues to skyrocket. As a result, every company needs to treat mobile like a central component of its IT, data, and cybersecurity policies.

 Russian Cyberattack Targeted Elections Vendor Tied To Voting Day Disruptions

When people in several North Carolina precincts showed up to vote last November, weird things started to happen with the electronic systems used to check them in. “Voters were going in and being told that they had already voted — and they hadn’t,” recalls Allison Riggs, an attorney with the Southern Coalition for Social Justice. The electronic systems — known as poll books — also indicated that some voters had to show identification, even though they did not. Investigators later discovered the company that provided those poll books had been the target of a Russian cyberattack.

 Ukrainian postal service hit by 48-hour cyber-attack

“This serves to highlight how any organisation, including those which don’t transact directly with consumers, can be seriously impacted by denial of service attacks. With the level of sophistication of today’s attackers, and without the latest generation of always-on, real-time automatic DDoS protection, all organisations are vulnerable to DDoS attacks of all sizes and durations.”

 Cyberattack leaves millions without mobile phone service in Venezuela

A massive cyberattack that took down government websites in Venezuela earlier this week also has left seven million mobile phone users without service, the government said Thursday. A group that calls itself The Binary Guardians claimed responsibility for attacks that targeted the websites of the government, the supreme court and the National Assembly. “These terrorist actions which affected the Movilnet’s GSM platform on Wednesday left without communication seven of the state operator’s 13 million users,” Science and Technology Minister Hugbel Roa said.

 DC couple loses $1.5 million in home-buying cyber attack scam

The couple filed a lawsuit against that company, Federal Title and Escrow Company, seeking their money back plus additional damages since May when the money was stolen. The lawsuit alleges that the title company was negligent in its cyber security, which led to the hack. According to the lawsuit, the couple, who are both government employees, made an initial deposit to the company for a home in the Cleveland Park neighborhood after getting instructions from the company by email. That deposit went through. A second email came from the same trusted worker asking the buyers to wire the rest of the money to another account.

 Malware Hidden in DNA Can Launch Cyber Attacks

Researchers at the University of Washington showed that it’s possible to convert malicious software into data and store it in physical strands of synthetic DNA, the Wall Street Journal reports. The researchers proved that the malware encoded inside DNA could take over a computer sequencing the genetic material. This attack is not practical for common hackers yet–Wired reports that the experiments were only successful 37 percent of time. But, the researchers found three different vulnerabilities in gene sequencing software that a hacker could exploit. As DNA sequencing becomes more popular and technology to store computer data inside DNA becomes more practical, future cyber attacks could originate from malware stored in DNA.

 Are international cyber attacks the wave of the future?

Norms that may be ripe for discussion outside the GGE process could include protected status for the core functions of the Internet; supply-chain standards and liability for the Internet of Things; treatment of election processes as protected infrastructure; and, more broadly, norms for issues such as crime and information warfare. All of these are among the topics that may be considered by the new informal International Commission on Stability in Cyberspace established early this year and chaired by former Estonian Foreign Minister Marina Kaljurand.

 This Story About How the FBI Tracked Down an Alleged Child Porn ‘Terrorist’ Is Nuts

All of this led to the arrest of Buster Hernandez on Monday, August 7. It also gives the terrorized residents of Plainfield and Dansville hope that their years-long hunt for the infamous Brian Kil is over. Finally, it serves as yet another reminder that trying to become “the worst cyber terrorist that ever lived” is a bad idea. Authorities are increasingly savvy when it comes to the internet and simply using Tor isn’t enough to keep you out of the FBI’s crosshairs.

 FCC seemingly forgot about a net neutrality complaint filed against Verizon

he only formal net neutrality complaint was filed in July 2016 by a Verizon Wireless customer named Alex Nguyen, who alleged that the carrier has violated the rules with numerous actions that blocked third-party devices and applications from being used on its network. The complaint has its own docket, and Verizon has made several responses to the allegations, yet it has been so little-noticed that the people who wrote the FCC’s proposal to repeal net neutrality rules seemingly forgot that it existed.

 Schoolboy bags $10,000 reward from Google with easy HTTP Host bypass

By connecting to a public Google service, such as, and changing the Host header in the HTTP request to, say,, Pereira was redirected to Google’s internal project management system YAQS. Viewing that system should have required a MOMA sign-in, but instead, he was able to view YAQS pages marked “Google confidential.”

 Lauri Love and Gary McKinnon’s lawyer, UK supporters rally around Marcus Hutchins

Karen Todner, the solicitor instructed by various Britons charged by American authorities with cyber-crimes, said at the meeting: “There’s nothing any of us can do to get him back here. 98 per cent of people charged in America take a plea deal. The sentence can be six or seven times longer if [the defendant pleads not guilty but is] found guilty.” Todner has not been instructed by Hutchins and was giving her personal view of his situation.

 44% of sampled websites fail password protection assessment

The analysis judged websites’ password policies based on five criteria: a minimum threshold of eight characters in a password, mandatory use of alphanumeric characters (not just numbers), a password strength assessment display during account creation, an account lockout feature to prevent brute force attacks, and support of two-factor or multi-factor authentication. Altogether, 21 out of the 48 studied websites, or roughly 44 percent, failed the evaluation because they met fewer than three of these stated benchmarks.


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