The Week in Breach News: 12/01/21 – 12/07/21
Cybercriminals snatched millions from three cryptocurrency platforms, PII and PHI were exposed in major medical clinic snafus and the impact of ransomware on their clients according to MSPs, plus what they expect to see in the ransomware space in 2022.
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Planned Parenthood: Healthcare Provider
Risk to Business: 1.616= Severe
Bad actors gained access to the personal information of an estimated 400,000 patients of Planned Parenthood in Los Angeles this past October in a probable ransomware attack. A spokesperson said that someone gained access to Planned Parenthood Los Angeles’ network between October 9 and 17, deployed and exfiltrated an undisclosed number of files. The breach is limited to the Los Angeles affiliate and an investigation is underway.
Risk to Business: 1.703= Severe
PPLA told clients that PII and PHI had been exposed including the patient’s name, address, insurance information, date of birth, and clinical information, such as diagnosis, procedure, and/or prescriptions.
Customers Impacted: 400,000
How It Could Affect Your Customers’ Business: Medical information is valuable, especially sensitive information like this that can be used for both cybercrime and blackmail, and patients expect that healthcare providers will protect it.
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Gale Healthcare Solutions
Gale Healthcare Solutions: Healthcare Job Placement
Risk to Business: 1.611=Severe
More than 30,000 US healthcare workers’ personal information was recently exposed due to a non-password-protected database owned by Gale Healthcare Solutions, a Florida-based healthcare staffing provider. Files containing the PII of healthcare workers that the company placed were hosted on an unsecured AWS cloud server that was uncovered by security researchers in September. Gale Health Solutions says that the environment has been deactivated and secured. The company also says that there is no evidence there was any further unauthorized access beyond the researcher or that any personal data has been, or will be, misused.
Individual Risk: 1.813=Severe
Researchers reported that the files they saw contained a healthcare worker’s face image or ID badge, full name and a number consistent with an SSN. Other personal data about the impacted workers may also have been exposed.
Customers Impacted: 300,000
How It Could Affect Your Customers’ Business This mistake will be expensive and coveted healthcare workers may be inclined to choose a different staffing agency because of this carelessness.
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MonoX: Cryptocurrency Finance
Risk to Business: 1.318=Extreme
The MonoX DEX platform has experienced a breach that did damage to the tune of $31 million. The breach took place after hackers exploited a vulnerability in smart contract software, then exploited the vulnerability to increase the price of MONO through smart contracts and bought assets with MONO tokens. DeFi platform Badger was also reportedly hit by hackers for $120 million last week after they gained access by targeting a protocol on the Ethereum network.
Individual Impact: No consumer PII or financial data loss was disclosed in this breach as of press time.
Customers Impacted: Unknown
How It Could Affect Your Customers’ Business In an ultra-competitive sector like crypto, customers will be watching every move a company makes, especially if it could potentially cost them money.
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DNA Diagnostics Center
DNA Diagnostics Center: Healthcare Services
Risk to Business: 1.819= Severe
DNA Diagnostics Center said that on August 6, the company discovered that there had been unauthorized access to its network that enabled someone to access and exfiltrate an archived database that contained patient PII collected between 2004 and 2012. The Ohio-based company says that 2,102,436 people had their information exposed. Victims may have been ordered to undergo genetic testing as part of a legal matter.
Individual Risk 1.617= Severe
The company is sending letters to impacted individuals warning them that they may have had their PII and sensitive data such as Social Security number or payment information exposed. Anyone whose personal information was accessed is being offered Experian credit monitoring.
Customers Impacted: 2,102,436
How it Could Affect Your Customers’ Business Companies that store two kinds of valuable data like this are at high risk for an expensive and damaging ransomware incident that will have lasting financial results.
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United Kingdom – BitMart
BitMart: Cryptocurrency Exchange
Risk to Business: 1.212= Extreme
Cryptocurrency trading platform BitMart has been hacked resulting in the loss of an estimated $150 million in funds. Portswigger reports that Blockchain security firm Peckshield has estimated losses of around $200 million following an attack on the platform on Saturday (December 4), comprising $100 million on the Ethereum blockchain and $96 million on the Binance Smart Chain. BitMart said n a statement that it was temporarily suspending withdrawals until further notice after detecting a large-scale security breach centered on two ‘hot’ wallets. BitMart claims that it has more than nine million customers across more than 180 countries.
Individual Impact: No consumer or employee PII or financial data exposure was disclosed in this incident as of press time.
Customers Impacted: Unknown
How it Could Affect Your Customers’ Business Crypto platforms have been squarely in cybercriminals’ sights in the last few months and consumers are watching to see which ones are able to avoid trouble.
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Japan – Panasonic
Panasonic: Electronics Manufacturer
Risk to Business: 1.919 = Severe
Panasonic has confirmed that it’s had a security breach after unauthorized users accessed its network on November 11. The company says that an internal investigation revealed that some data on a file server had been accessed by intruders. No information was given about what data was accessed or how much. Panasonic says that it is working with an outside firm to get to the bottom of the matter and expressed its apologies for the incident.
Individual Impact: No consumer or employee PII or financial data exposure was disclosed in this incident as of press time.
Customers Impacted: Unknown
How it Could Affect Your Customers’ Business Large companies are treasure troves for data-hungry cybercriminals looking for a quick, low-risk score to turn over for fast profit.
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Australia – CS Energy
CS Energy: Energy Company
Risk to Business: 1.723 = Severe
CS Energy confirmed it experienced a ransomware attack on November 27. The company said the incident was limited to its corporate network and did not impact operations at its Callide and Kogan Creek power stations. CS Energy’s CEO said that the company contained the ransomware attack by segregating the corporate network from other internal networks and enacting business continuity processes. CS Energy is owned by the Queensland government.
Individual Impact: No consumer PII or financial data exposure was disclosed in this incident as of press time.
Customers Impacted: Unknown
How it Could Affect Your Customers’ Business Utility companies and other critical infrastructure businesses are tempting targets for cybercriminals because their essential nature makes the owners more likely to pay a ransom.
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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.
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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:
- Cyberattacks on Healthcare Targets Create a Public Health Risk
- Do a Security Checkup for National Computer Security Day!
- Holiday Shopping Scams Can Damage Business Security
- Cyber Insurance May Not Cover That Incident
- The Week in Breach News: 11/24/21 – 11/30/21
Kaseya Patch Tuesday: Patch notes & bug fixes for November 2021: SEE PATCH INFO>>
See how to fix staffing problems, fill security gaps and make more money fast with security automation. LEARN MORE>>
These Gifts to Yourself Will Help You Make More Money in 2022
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Empower Your Clients to Spot & Stop Insider Threats
The infographic 5 Red Flags That Point to a Malicious Insider at Work details 5 things to watch for that can expose malicious insiders. DOWNLOAD IT NOW>>
The Building a Strong Security Culture Checklist helps clients find security flaws that you can help fix! DOWNLOAD IT NOW>>
Did You Miss… The Computer Security To-Do List can show your clients how to do their part in preventing cyberattacks. DOWNLOAD IT >>
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Ransomware Risk is Influenced By Business Technology Choices
What MSPs and Their Clients Are Doing to Reduce Risk
As 2021 draws to a close, everyone’s attention turns to getting ready to face the threats ahead in 2022. But a big part of making sure that you and your clients are ready for what’s sure to be another tumultuous year in cybersecurity is understanding what drove some of 2021’s biggest cybersecurity trends. A new study that looks at the relationships that MSPs and their clients have with ransomware can provide valuable insight into how the fight against ransomware is shaping up for you and your clients in 2022.
Unitrends MSP surveyed more than 200 IT professionals from MSP organizations worldwide for its 2021 State of Ransomware Survey Report. In this study, researchers took a deep dive into the fundamentals of how ransomware impacted MSPs and their clients. They also broke down exactly which operating systems and SaaS applications the bad guys preferred when choosing their targets for ransomware operations. Another branch of study for this report included a look at MSP and customer attitudes toward ransomware readiness as well as the consequences businesses may face in the aftermath. In addition, researchers explored MSP and MSSP relationships, why security measures may fail and securing backup and recovery assets.
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Ransomware Attacks Plague MSPs & Their Clients
The study’s findings illuminate the impact that ransomware has had on business IT for both businesses and MSPs – and that impact has been extensive. Their research shows that a majority of MSPs have gone through the pain of a ransomware attack with their customers. Only 4.59% of the MSPs surveyed said that they haven’t had any clients affected by ransomware. Things get a little murkier when taking a look at why those clients fell victim to ransomware though. Of course, human error tops the list of reasons why a ransomware attack succeeded against its target. Respondents identified human activity, such as falling for phishing and lack of security awareness, as the leading cause of malware attacks, at the root of more than 50% of ransomware incidents. But surprisingly, 18% of ransomware incidents could be chalked up to corporate IT woes.
The Leading Causes of Ransomware Infections
Lack of Security Awareness 22%
Lost/Stolen Credentials 13%
Malicious Websites 12%
Lack of IT Budget 10%
Lack of Executive Buy-in 8%
Misconfigured Firewall 6%
Insider Threat 5%
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MSPs & Clients Differ on Concern About Ransomware Threats
For the most part, MSPs and their clients are closely aligned on their attitudes toward ransomware as a security concern. The biggest surprise was the 1.73% of MSPs that stated they are not concerned at all about the threat of ransomware for their clients. Researchers noted that the unconcerned MSPs also indicated they are confident in their ability to recover from an attack because many have already helped their clients do so first-hand. That increased confidence due to successful recovery has in part alleviated their concerns over the threat. However, MSPs and their clients were almost universally worried about the possibility of a ransomware attack.
Levels of Concern About Ransomware
Very Concerned 43% 25%
Concerned 36% 49%
Somewhat Concerned 20% 21%
Not Concerned 1% 2%
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MSPs See Ransomware Risk Growing
Attitudes toward the growth of ransomware as a risk are similar. No business is too small to be interesting to cybercriminals, putting every business at risk of a ransomware attack. In the last 12 months, 50% of ransomware attacks worldwide have nailed SMBs, and 55% of all ransomware attacks hit businesses with fewer than 100 employees. Companies that store and handle a great deal of valuable data have been squarely in cybercriminals’ sights as the value of that data soars. The number of breaches that involve ransomware has doubled in 2021 when compared to 2020. Those circumstances should have alarm bells ringing for IT professionals in every industry, and that’s borne out by the data in this survey.
In the Last 24 Months, Ransomware Has…
Become a significant risk 89%
Stayed the same 5%
Not Sure 5%
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Only 50% of Clients Are Ready for Trouble
Unfortunately, no matter how much MSPs try to raise awareness about potentially devastating threats like ransomware, many businesses fail to take those threats seriously until they’re knocking on the door. An analysis of non-tech business leaders’ attitudes toward cybersecurity on IBM’s Security Intelligence blog revealed the disturbing fact that that 60% of SMB owners feel that they will not face any kind of cybersecurity incidents. At the enterprise level, an equally astonishing more than 65% of senior-level decision-makers said they didn’t believe the businesses for which they’re responsible would ever fall victim to a cyberattack. Those troubling conclusions also appear in the Unitrends survey. The majority of surveyed MSPs reported that their clients are only somewhat prepared or not prepared at all to face a ransomware attack.
Levels of Client Preparedness for a Ransomware Attack
Somewhat Prepared 50%
Mostly Prepared 37%
Extremely Prepared 7%
Not Prepared 7%
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What Operating Systems Are Ransomware Gangs Targeting?
Knowing what ransomware gangs are looking for as likely weak spots when they choose their targets is very important. Surprisingly, roughly half of the ransomware operators analyzed in a recent study of dark web forum posts were clear about their disinterest in pursuing ransomware attacks targets in the government, healthcare or education sectors. Other factors including how high the target’s profile is, the risk that the operation poses to a gang’s continued operation and the odds that an organization will just pay the ransom are important modifiers in determining an individual business or industry’s ransomware risk.
This study shows that the operating system that a business relies on also impacts their likelihood of becoming a target of a ransomware attack. Cybercriminals clearly have preferences about which OS they prefer to deal with, and that factor may have a significant impact on a company’s ransomware prospects. As of 2020, the CVE database listed more than 660 “dangerous” security gaps were attributed to Windows operating systems, with 357 of these vulnerabilities relating to Windows 10.5 Beyond backdoors found in the OS, users may be at increased risk due to the transition to remote work, with the potential for threat actors to attack security vulnerabilities through connected devices. Being the world’s most popular operating system has left a target on the proverbial backs of Windows systems, with Windows machines ending up as the target of 83% of malware attacks during the pandemic.
Operating Systems Targeted by Ransomware
Windows 10 41%
Windows Server 37%
Apple IOS 3%
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SaaS Isn’t Safer
SaaS applications weren’t safe from ransomware gangs either. Unitrends researchers reported that almost three-quarters of all survey respondents said that their clients’ SaaS applications have come under attack. Bad actors know that SaaS applications serve as important document stores that are loaded with potentially valuable data like PI, financial information, medical records and other profitable commodities in the busy dark web data markets.
SaaS Applications Targeted by Ransomware
Microsoft 365 41%
Google Workspace 11%
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The Future of Ransomware
Ransomware has experienced rapid growth as a risk that MSPs see their clients facing, and that risk keeps on rising. Researchers determined that 89.02% of the MSPs that they surveyed feel that ransomware has become a majorly significant risk for their clients in the last 24 months. When looking at the future of ransomware, it’s also clear that for better or worse, MSPs overwhelmingly expect ransomware to be a continuing risk for their clients in 2022. The vast majority of survey respondents, about 84.12%, also anticipate that the rate of ransomware attacks that their clients face will stay the same or get even worse over the next year. Conversely, less than 2% of respondents believe the threat of ransomware has diminished and only 4.71% anticipate the threat of ransomware will diminish at all over the next 12 months.
The State of Ransomware in 2022
Stay The Same 18%
Not Sure 11%
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MSPs + ID Agent = A Strong Partnership Against Cybercrime
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2022 Will Be a Banner Year for Ransomware. Are You Ready?
Ransomware has been top-of-mind for business owners and security professionals as they struggle to keep their organizations a step ahead of cybercrime and a new survey says that trend looks set to continue into 2022.
In the Unitrends 2021 State of Ransomware Survey Report, researchers determined that 89.02% of the IT professionals that they surveyed felt that ransomware has become a majorly significant risk in the last 24 months. A further 84.12%, also anticipate that the rate of ransomware attacks will stay the same or get even worse over the next year.
That means that every company needs to be on top of reducing its cyber risk. One effective way to do that is through increased security awareness training with a solution like BullPhish ID. Companies that engage in regular cybersecurity awareness training have up to 70% fewer security incidents – and that’s a welcome relief when it seems like a cyberattack is waiting around every corner.
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