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The Week in Breach News: 04/28/21 – 05/04/21

May 05, 2021

It’s a very public-sector-oriented Week in Breach. Ransomware woes have made a home in five North American locales (complete with a new gang on the scene), trouble rained on everyone’s parade at Swiss Cloud and we’ll explore the idea of cybercrime as a public health threat.

United States – Metropolitan Police Department of the District of Columbia

Exploit: Ransomware

Metropolitan Police Department of the District of Columbia: Law Enforcement Agency

cybersecurity news represented by agauge showing severe risk

Risk to Business: 1.717= Severe

The Babuk Locker ransomware gang snatched data from the DC Metropolitan Police. The sample the cybercrime group posted, included 576 pages of personnel files including full names, Social Security numbers, phone numbers, financial and housing records, job histories and polygraph assessments for current and former officers. That data was briefly visible on the gang’s site, but taken down after a short period. No word on whether the gang was paid or the exact contents of the stolen files. In total, the Babuk Locker gang claims it downloaded more than 250 GB of data from DC Police servers.

cybersecurity news represented by agauge showing severe risk

Individual Risk: 2.166= Severe

Current and former employees of the Metro Police may be in danger for spear phishing, identity theft or blackmail and should remain alert for fraud attempts.

Customers Impacted: Unknown

How It Could Affect Your Customers’ Business: Data theft like this is the bread and butter of cybercrime. This data is especially desirable because it contains information about law enforcement. When storing this kind of information, ensuring that you’re using multifactor authentication is essential as is antiphishing security to guard against ransomware.

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United States – Illinois Office of the Attorney General 

Exploit: Ransomware

Illinois Office of the Attorney General: State Government Agency

cybersecurity news represented by agauge showing severe risk

Risk to Business: 1.807= Severe

The DopplePaymer ransomware gang has leaked a large collection of files from the Illinois Office of the Attorney General after the agency declined to pay the ransom that they gang demaded. The cybercrimnals released information from court cases orchestrated by the Illinois OAG, including some private documents that do not appear in public records. the data also contains personally identifiable information about state prisoners, notes of their grievances, and case information.

cybersecurity news represented by agauge showing severe risk

Risk to Business: 2.177= Severe

In the documents posted so far there is some personal data for prisoners, but the full extent of the breach is not clear. formerly incarcerated people may be at risk of blackmail or spear phishing.

Customers Impacted: Unknown

How it Could Affect Your Customers’ Business More than 50% of businesses were impacted by ransomware in the last 12 months. by taking sensible precautions like antiphishing software, secure identity and access management and updated security awareness training, companies can avoid this menace.

ID Agent to the Rescue: Make sure that you’re covering all of the bases to avoid breaches and nasty regulatory action with our Cybersecurity Risk Protection Checklist. GET THE CHECKLIST>>

United States – Pennsylvania Department of Health

Exploit: Third Party Data Breach

Pennsylvania Department of Health: State Government Agency

cybersecurity news represented by agauge showing severe risk

Risk to Business: 1.803 = Severe

The Pennsylvania Department of Health received an unpleasant shock when it learned that the third-party firm it had employed to process contact tracing data had made data handling mistakes, potentially opening thousands of residents of the Keystone State up to trouble. The contractor, Atlanta-based Insight Global reported that several employees violated security protocols to create unauthorized documents outside of the secure data system that the state’s contract required using the data collected.

cybersecurity news represented by agauge showing severe risk

Individual Risk: 2.277 = Severe

Some of the records in question associated names with phone numbers, emails, genders, ages, sexual orientations and COVID-19 diagnoses and exposure status. They did not include financial account information, addresses or Social Security numbers. A daytime hotline is available for anyone concerned they might have been involved at 855-535-1787. Free credit monitoring and identity protection services will be offered.

Customers Impacted: 72,000

How it Could Affect Your Customers’ Business: No business is an island. That’s why it pays to take precautions against potential intrusions and data theft that results from a service provider’s cybersecurity failure

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United States – Wyoming Department of Health 

Exploit: Unsecured Data

Wyoming Department of Health: State Government Agency

cybersecurity news represented by agauge showing severe risk

Risk to Business: 2.303 = Severe

Wyoming’s Department of Health (WDH) has announced the accidental exposure of personal health information belonging to more than a quarter of the state’s population on The data breach occurred when an estimated 53 files containing laboratory test results were mishandled by a worker. Data in the leaked files included test results for flu and COVID-19 performed for Wyoming. One file containing breath alcohol test results was also exposed.

cybersecurity news represented by agauge showing severe risk

Individual Risk: 2.676 = Severe

Along with the test results were patients’ names, ID numbers, addresses, dates of birth and dates of when tests had been carried out. WDH has begun the process of notifying impacted individuals and victims will be offered a year of free identity theft protection.

Customers Impacted: 164,021 Wyoming residents and others 

How it Could Affect Your Customers’ Business: Taking care of business includes taking care of training to prevent slip-ups like this that will ultimately cost the state million after remediation and fines.

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Canada – The Resort Municipality of Whistler

Exploit: Ransomware

The Resort Municipality of Whistler: Municipal Government 

cybersecurity news represented by agauge showing severe risk

Risk to Business: 1.867 = Severe

The Resort Municipality of Whistler (RMOW) has temporarily suspended all online and some in-person services in the wake of a ransomware attack purprtedly carried out by an unamed new ransomware gang. The group leaked some data on it’s unfinshed dark web site and claims to have stolen 800 GB of data. RMOW states that they are currently working with cybersecurity experts and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) to investigate further.

Individual Impact: No sensitive personal or financial information was confirmed as compromised in this incident, but the investigation is ongoing.

Customers Impacted: Unknown

How it Could Affect Your Customers’ Business: Ransomware has been an increasingly popular tool for cybercriminals to use against targets in the education sector. Preventing it from hitting systems is just as important as protecting data.

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United Kingdom – Merseyrail

Exploit: Ransomware

Merseyrail: Train Operator

cybersecurity news represented by agauge showing severe risk

Risk to Business: 1.672 = Severe

Merseyrail, a UK rail network that provides train service through 68 stations in the Liverpool area, has been hit with a suspected ransomware attack. Reporters have been contacted by the LockBit ransomware gang claiming responsibility. The gang supposedly accessed the rail company’s systems through a compromised administrator email account. The cybercriminals claim to have personal information about the railway’s employees and business data. The incident is under investigation.

Individual Impact: No sensitive personal or financial information was announced as compromised in this incident, but the investigation is ongoing.

Customers Impacted: Unknown

How it Could Affect Your Customers’ Business: Ransomware, especially targeted ransomware, is the weapon of choice for cybercrime, and ransoms have been skyrocketing as criminals grow more brazen about disrupting business operations and holding them hostage until they’re paid.

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Switzerland – Swiss Cloud

Exploit: Ransomware

Swiss Cloud: Cloud Hosting Provider 

cybersecurity news represented by agauge showing severe risk

Risk to Business: 2.217 = Severe

Cloud hosting provider Swiss Cloud was hit by a ransomware attack that brought down the company’s server infrastructure. The company is currently working to restore operations from its backups with the help of experts from HPE and Microsoft. The impacted servers are expected to be restored by next week. The disruption has impacted server availability for more than 6,500 customers.

Individual Impact: No sensitive personal or financial information was announced as compromised in this incident, but the investigation is ongoing.

Customers Impacted: Unknown

How it Could Affect Your Customers’ Business: Ransomware is the modern cybercriminal’s weapon of choice. Make sure your clients are taking every possible precaution, because 61% of organizations worldwide experienced a damaging ransomware incident in 2020.

ID Agent to the Rescue: Review the trends in ransomware in 2020 and see how we expect it will impact businesses in 2021 in The Global Year in Breach 2021. GET THIS BOOK>>

Australia – UnitingCare Queensland

Exploit: Hacking

UnitingCare Queensland: Healthcare Support Services

cybersecurity news represented by agauge showing severe risk

Risk to Business: 2.112 = Severe

UnitingCare Queensland has confirmed it has been impacted by a cybersecurity incident that has caused some of its systems to become inaccessible as remediation efforts begin. The organization supplies eldercare, disability support, in-home health care and crisis response services. The company does not expect significant disruptions in care as a result of the incident which is under investigation.

Individual Impact: No sensitive personal or financial information was announced as compromised in this incident, but the investigation is ongoing.

Customers Impacted: Unknown

How it Could Affect Your Customers’ Business: Malware and ransomware have been the plague of increasingly beleaguered healthcare targets. Every organization in the sector should step up phishing resistance training to reduce the chance of falling prey to an attack.

ID Agent to the Rescue: Get the tools that you need to conduct security awareness training that includes phishing resistance painlessly in the new BullPhish ID. SEE THE UPDATE WEBINAR>>

1 – 1.5 = Extreme Risk

1.51 – 2.49 = Severe Risk

2.5 – 3 = Moderate Risk

Risk scores for The Week in Breach are calculated using a formula that considers a wide range of factors related to the assessed breach.

Go Inside the Ink to Get the Inside Scoop on Cybercrime

Are you up to date on the latest news that can impact your business and your customers? Here’s a recap:

should you diclose a data breach represented by the words "hacking detected" in red on a blue and white touchscreen

Don’t become a cybercrime statistic. The Cybersecurity Risk Protection Checklist will help you find and fix security gaps. GET IT>>

Learn Fresh Tips to Mitigate Phishing Risk from Experts

Did you know that more than 75% of organizations worldwide were impacted by phishing last year? We know you’re constantly working to keep your clients (and your business) safe from phishing-related cybercrime. But you’re not in the fight to defend your clients from phishing alone – our experts are here to help with the latest strategies and tools to stay off cybercriminals’ hooks! In “The Phish Files: Special Edition” you’ll learn:

  • How to fight back and defeat today’s nastiest variants of popular phishing attacks
  • What you can do to protect your clients against phishing quickly, easily and affordably
  • Why you’ll benefit from adding automated phishing defense to your menu

Dive into “The Phish Files: Special Edition“! LISTEN NOW>>

Ready to See the Future Of Cybercrime?

Learn to discern the trends that will impact your clients and your business this year. In The Global Year in Breach 2021, you’ll see how 2020’s cybersecurity rollercoaster deposited us where we are today, and what we see ahead. GET YOUR FREE COPY>>

Are you ready for what’s next in cybersecurity? Make sure you’re covering all the bases with the Cybersecurity Risk Protection ChecklistDOWNLOAD IT>>

The Healthcare Sector is Still Under Siege by Cybercriminals

Although every industry has been impacted by cyberattacks during the unprecedented wave of cybercrime in 2020, the healthcare sector really experienced a disproportionate share. That wasn’t good news in the middle of a global pandemic that was driving already challenged healthcare organizations to the brink and beyond in the worst health crisis in generations. Cybercriminals saw an opportunity and they took it – confirmed data breaches in the healthcare industry increased by 58% in 2020. Now industry experts are wrestling with a thorny question: are healthcare cyberattacks a legitimate public health crisis?

Did you catch all of the growth-focused MSP tips at MSP Growthfest? Listen to the recording now to be sure. LISTEN NOW>>

 No one disputes that cyberattacks against hospitals, health systems, research facilities, pharmaceutical manufacturers and even temperature-controlled transportation were incredibly disruptive to the COVID-19 pandemic response around the world. Experts estimate that the healthcare sector alone lost $25 billion alone last year and an estimated 27% of all cyberattacks in 2020 targeted healthcare organizations. That’s not including pharmaceutical companies, research facilities, testing laboratories, equipment manufacturers, technology providers, insurance companies and myriad other healthcare-related businesses.

This onslaught led to huge problems exactly when hospitals and clinics couldn’t stand to have anything else go wrong. Unfortunately, according to researchers at Blackberry, healthcare sector businesses are the most likely to pay ransoms, making them extremely attractive targets. The information gained in healthcare data breaches is also exceptionally desirable and valuable. During the race to develop a COVID-19 vaccine, the pressure was on pharmaceutical companies, with three major contenders breached in one week at the peak of the pressure. Two specific outcomes for healthcare-related cyberattacks have made an especially strong case for healthcare cybercrime constituting a public health crisis.

top phishing scams of 2020

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Ransomware attacks against every target soared in 2020, and healthcare was no exception. Attacks against healthcare organizations dramatically increased in Q4 2020, with a month-over-month increase of about 45% in early November. That followed an alarming 71% spike in October. Researchers noted that on average, businesses and organizations faced an average of 440 ransomware attacks per week in October 2020 – and by the end of November 2020 that number climbed to 626 — nearly 90 attacks every single day.

The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) didn’t wait to make a pronouncement about the status of ransomware attacks on healthcare targets. CISA, FBI and HHS joined together in a rare joint warning the healthcare sector on October 28, 2020, to be on high alert for a new flood of attacks and continuing pressure, including potential activity by nation-state threat actors. Private security experts agree that it was the right call. At the time, the alert specifically called out TrickBot ransomware, but the suggested precautions would offer healthcare organizations strong protection against most other types of ransomware as well.

Care Continuum Impacts

The most feared result of potential cyberattacks against healthcare targets is a disruption in care. Many hospital systems experienced IT outages as a result of cyberattacks that caused serious problems. In some cases, hospitals were forced to resort to old-fashioned written records during these outages, or they experienced an inability to access important test results, scans, x-rays and other important patient information. Universal Health Services (UHS), a nationwide hospital and health facility operator in the US, experienced a massive IT network outage in late September 2020. The company was forced to disconnected its IT system after identifying a malware attack. The outage lasted for eight days in the middle of a pandemic wave, creating more stress for already overburdened medical; staffers in its facilities. In hundreds of UHS healthcare facilities across the US, healthcare workers were forced to resort to cumbersome downtime protocols and paper records during the outage.

It wasn’t just hospitals who have felt the pinch. Just last week, scores of US hospitals were impacted by a security breach at a specialist provider of equipment for cancer treatments. Supply chain and third-party risk has been a nightmare for every industry in the last 12 months. Swedish oncology and radiology system provider Elekta’s announcement of a data security incident, purported to be ransomware, was a heavy blow to 42 hospitals that were reliant on its first-generation cloud-based storage system. This led to an inability for providers to access the precise notes and details of radiotherapy treatments for patients. Yale New Haven Health in Connecticut was forced to take its radiation equipment offline for over a week, resulting in many of the hospital’s cancer patients being transferred to other providers with little notice. Care disruptions are an unfortunate reality for many hospitals, and that makes cybercrime like this a public health emergency.

Strengthen Protection Now to Avoid Disaster Later

It is essential that your clients in the healthcare sector and related industries take this escalation of threat very seriously. By putting strong, sensible protections in place, especially against phishing, you and your clients can have peace of mind knowing that you’ve put powerful protection in place to keep systems and data safe.

  • Secure identity and access management is a must-have. If your clients can only afford to add or upgrade one solution this year make it secure identity and access management with Passly. They’ll get a tremendous bang for the buck with 99% protection against password-based cybercrime thanks to multifactor authentication ( which also makes a phished password useless) and more essential tools to keep bad guys out and data in.
  • Fight phishing to fight ransomware. Over 90% of employees in a recent survey were unable to identify a sophisticated phishing attack. The best way to stop ransomware is to stop phishing attacks from reaching an employee inbox. The best way to do that is to add Graphus to your security plan. It spots and stops 40% more phishing email than competitors.
  • Create a strong security culture. Mishandling of data and improper access caused 21% of healthcare breaches in 2020. Sloppy cybersecurity practices are a slippery slope to disaster. Security awareness training that includes phishing resistance can reduce the chance of an organization suffering a damaging cybersecurity incident like data mishandling or phishing by up to 70%. Choose a solution like BullPhish ID to provide that training, featuring customizable content to reflect real industry threats delivered through a portal that makes training painless for everyone.

May 11: Phish and Chips – Demo Webinar and Free Lunch (EMEA)! REGISTER NOW>>

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May 11 – 14: Robin Robins Boot Camp (Orlando and Virtual) REGISTER NOW>>

May 13: MSP Master Certification: Proper Service Desk Incident Escalation and Lifecyle Management for Resolution REGISTER NOW>>

May 17: MSP Cybersecurity Certification REGISTER NOW>>

May 19 – 20: ASCII Success Summit (Houston, Texas) REGISTER NOW>>

May 26: MSP Gym (EMEA Edition) REGISTER NOW>>

June 15: Deploy Your Secret Weapon: Security-Savvy Employees REGISTER NOW>>

Is Cybercrime a Public Health Menace?

Healthcare organizations worldwide have seen an onslaught of cyberattacks in the last 12 months as cybercriminals seek to profit from an overburdened yet essential resource. In the midst of the global pandemic, heartless cybercriminals chose to slam healthcare and healthcare-related organizations with ransomware, phishing, hacking and other dangerous and disruptive cyberattacks. That means that cybercrime isn’t just an expensive inconvenience – it’s a public health menace.

Ransomware incidents had a huge impact on the healthcare sector in 2020 – attacks against healthcare organizations have jumped about 45% since early November. Many of those attacks didn’t just snatch data from hospitals. Some ransomware attacks caused significant patient care disruptions, forcing staffers to rely on old-fashioned pencil and paper records in the midst of the world’s worst health crisis in generations.

Data breaches at healthcare organizations have also soared by an estimated 55% in 2020, with huge spikes in Q4. These breaches affected more than 26 million people. That’s a big contributor to the flood of personally identifiable information that made its way to the dark web last year, increasing every company’s risk for dangers like a credential compromise.

Protect your business from the increased risk of ransomware and credential compromise that healthcare and even healthcare-adjacent businesses are facing today. You’ll get the most value for your money by adding secure identity and access management using a dynamic solution like Passly. It includes multifactor authentication, one tool that provides strong protection against 99% of password-based cybercrime, like a phished password. You’ll have peace of mind knowing that you’ve made a strong move for your business.

If you only do one thing to improve your company’s cybersecurity posture this year, make it adding powerful protection against cybercrime with secure identity and access management with Passly.

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