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Cybersecurity

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At first glance, February appears to be a big improvement cyber security-wise compared to the start of the year. The 632,595,960 breached records accounts for about a third of January’s total, and is considerably lower than the figures for this time last year.

Unfortunately, the number of breached records doesn’t tell the full story, as there were a whopping 105 incidents – making February 2020 the second leakiest month we’ve ever recorded.

You can find detailed breakdowns of some of the more notable incidents by subscribing to our Round-ups or by visiting our cheatsheet page where we have a dedicated variety of handy cybersecurity cheatsheets.

Cyber attacks

Ransomware

Data breaches

Financial information

Malicious insiders and miscellaneous incidents

In other news…

Source: IT Governance

The new decade has begun relatively well, with a six-month low of only 61 disclosed cybersecurity incidents.

By comparison, 2019 saw an average of almost 80 data breaches and cyber attacks per month.

It’s not all good news, though. Several major incidents occurred in January, boosting the total number of breached records to a substantial 1,505,372,820.

That includes several worrying incidents involving UK organizations – which are highlighted in bold.

You can find detailed breakdowns of some of the more notable incidents by subscribing to our Round-ups or by visiting our cheatsheet page where we have a dedicated variety of handy cybersecurity cheatsheets.

In the meantime, you can check out the full list here:

Cyber attacks

Ransomware

Data breaches

 

Financial information

Malicious insiders and miscellaneous incidents

In other news…

Source: IT Governance

Throughout the year 2019, we kept an eye on cyber attack and data breach reported in mainstream publications, releasing our findings in our monthly blog series. 

This allowed us to see how many security incidents were occurring, how many records were involved and which industries were worst affected. 

Did you know, for example, that July was the worst month of the year in terms of breached records? Or that the leading cause of data breaches was internal error? 

With 2019 in the books, we’ve summarised these and other facts in infographics below

Source: IT Governance

 

November 2019 was a big month for data breaches, with a confirmed 1,341,147,383 records being exposed in 87 incidents.

However, almost all of those came from one leaked database, the origin of which is unclear as at the time of this writing.

Here is a full list of data breaches in November, showing the 1.34 billion records breached

Cyber Attacks

Ransomware

Data Breaches

Financial Information

Malicious insiders and miscellaneous incidents

Source: IT Governance

The CVE or Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures, a platform aimed at sharing details about  Zero-day and disclosed vulnerabilities.

Webopedia also defines CVE as a dictionary-type list of standardized names for vulnerabilities and other information related to security exposures. CVE aims to standardize the names for all publicly known vulnerabilities and security exposures.

Useful tips about CVE:

  • It is run by the MITRE Corporation, a non-profit organization. (attack.mitre.org)
  • The CVE aims to share vulnerability information easily and provide a standard for naming them.
  • The CVE IDs are in the format ‘CVE-YYYY-NNNNN’, where YYYY stands for the year the vulnerability was made public or the CVE ID was assigned.
  • It also provides the Common Vulnerability Scoring System (CVSS) that defines the severity of a disclosed security flaw. The CVSS score ranges from 0.0 to 10.0; a higher score indicates a higher severity level.
  • The common vulnerabilities and exposures (CVE) program has been around for quite some time now, helping organizations improve their cybersecurity posture by providing a wealth of knowledge about vulnerabilities and exposures.
  • It creates a standardized identifier for every vulnerability or exposure disclosed, so they can be accessed easily across multiple sources.

In this article, we’ll explore the basics of CVE. But before that let’s quickly recap what vulnerabilities and exposures are.

Vulnerability

Vulnerability is a security flaw that may be exploited to perform cyber attacks. Criminals use a number of ways including SQL injection, cross-site scripting, and buffer overflows to look for vulnerabilities to exploit.

Many organizations invest in specialized teams that test for vulnerabilities and provide security patches. The causes of vulnerability include weak passwords, operating system flaws, unintentional development bugs, and unchecked user input, among others.

Exposure

Exposures are unintentional issues or errors that allow unauthorized access to a network or system.

Some of the massive data breaches are the result of exposures. A recent example of this is a record showing data breaches and cyber attacks in October 2019  alone, where 421 million records were breached.

These attacks usually come in form of Cyber attacks, Ransomeware, Data breaches, Financial information or PII data leaks,  malicious insiders and miscellaneous incidents

CVE: Weighing the benefits and risks

CVEs are publicly available and may be exploited by malicious actors to launch cyberattacks. However, the benefits overshadow this risk.

  • CVE only lists publicly disclosed vulnerabilities and exposures. This allows individuals and organizations to be aware of the security flaws and available patches.
  • While organizations need to take care of several vulnerabilities to ensure security, a hacker needs to find just one flaw to exploit. This reinforces the importance of sharing details about vulnerabilities and exposures.

This article provides an elemental outline of CVE. For more details, you can refer to the official CVE website.

Thanks to a whopping data breach from an unknown server exposing 419 million data records, our monthly total comes to 531,596,111 breached records.

This brings the total amount of breached records for the year so far to 10,331,579,614.

September may have had fewer incidents than August at only 75, but overall there was a massive 363% increase on records breached.

Cyber attacks

Ransomware

Data breaches

Financial information

Malicious insiders and miscellaneous incidents

In other news…

Source: IT Governance

At first glance, August has been a quiet month for data breaches, with a total of 114,686,290 breached records. That’s about 10 percent of the monthly average coming into the month.

But that figure comes from 95 incidents in total, which is the highest number of breaches we’ve had all year.

Let’s take a look at those breaches in full in our slightly tweaked monthly list. After a reader suggestion last month, we’re also listing the UK-specific incidents in bold. Let us know if you like that change or if you have any other suggestions for future months.

Cyber attacks

 

Ransomware

Data breaches

 

Financial information

Malicious insiders and miscellaneous incidents

In other news…

Source: IT Governance

Remember after last month’s relatively serene cyber security scene we said this wasn’t the beginning of the GDPRevolution?

July was bound to be a bounce-back month, but we couldn’t have expected the frighteningly high total of 2,359,114,047 breached records.

Granted, a big chunk of those come from a single incident – a mammoth breach involving a Chinese smart tech supplier – but as unimaginative football commentators say, ‘they all count’.

Let’s take a look at the full list:

Cyber attacks


Ransomware


Data breaches

Financial information

Malicious insiders and miscellaneous incidents

Source: IT Governance

Capital One Financial Corp. announced late Monday that more than 100 million people had their personal information hacked.

The hacker got information including credit scores and balances, plus the Social Security numbers of about 140,000 customers and 80,000 bank-account numbers from credit-card customers, the bank said. It will offer free credit-monitoring services to those affected. The hack affected about 100 million people in the U.S. and 6 million in Canada.

Capital One couldn’t say for sure whether the leaked data was used for fraud. It first heard about the hack on July 19, but waited until July 29 to inform customers. Over that time, it sought help from law enforcement.

The hacker also stole the names, addresses, phone numbers, dates of birth, credit scores and other financial data, Capital One COF, -1.18%   said. The company couldn’t say for sure whether the leaked data was used for fraud. It first heard about the hack on July 19, but waited until July 29 to inform customers; it sought help from law enforcement to catch the alleged perpetrator.

Two years after Equifax EFX, +0.27%  revealed that hackers accessed the personal information of up to 147 million people, the credit bureau recently announced a settlement for up to $700 million, including $425 million in relief for those who have been affected, although there are some key requirementspeople should be aware of before they file a claim.

Last year, Facebook FB, -1.91%  announced that U.K.-based Cambridge Analytica improperly accessed 87 million Facebook users’ data. Facebook Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg testified before Congress and vowed to do more to fix the problem, and help make sure that nothing like that happens again. Cambridge Analytica closed down in the wake of the scandal. Earlier this month, the Federal Trade Commission fined Facebook $5 billion.

Don’t miss: A worrying theory after Equifax and Facebook settlements — aggregated data is NOT enough to protect your privacy

WhatsApp, the messaging and audio app owned by Facebook, announced last May that hackers were able to install spyware on Android smartphones and AppleAAPL, +0.93%  iPhones. “The attack has all the hallmarks of a private company reportedly that works with governments to deliver spyware that takes over the functions of mobile phone operating systems,” it said at the time.

More than 57 million customers of Uber UBER, -1.44%  had their data exposed by a massive hack in October 2016. Uber fired its chief security officer, Joe Sullivan, and one of his deputies for concealing the hack, which included the email addresses of 50 million Uber riders around the world. The revelation was made a year after the attack. It also affected 7 million drivers.

Be on your toes after a major hack or data breach. Consumers should never give out personal details over the telephone, even if the caller seems to represent Capital One or the email appears to be from a Capital One email address.

Be on your toes after a major hack or data breach. Consumers should never give out personal details over the telephone, even if the caller seems to represent Capital One or the email appears to be from a Capital One address. Consumers need to be careful whenever they are contacted by an unsolicited caller. Hang up and call the number on your card. “Phishing” scams — calls, emails or text messages that appear to offer protection — are actually trying to get more data from customers.

Security experts generally recommend never re-using security passwords and say people should use two-factor authentication on their phones, which requires a user to put a code sent to a phone or email into an app or website in order to log in from a new device or to change a password. They also say those affected by such hacks should freeze their credit report.

Don’t be pawned off by an offer of credit monitoring. Credit monitoring only looks for changes on a credit report, indicating that someone is using your personal information to open new accounts in your name. Here’s the bad news: Such security precautions would not help people protect against a data breach like the one Capital One announced Monday evening. Exposure of data that can’t be changed, such as Social Security numbers, are the hallmarks of particularly severe data breaches.

Here’s what else you should do now:

1. Check if your accounts have been affected

There still aren’t many formal ways to check if your data has been compromised in a breach. Often, the company will alert affected customers, but they aren’t required to. Some states, like California, have laws requiring companies to disclose data breaches that affect a certain number of customers, and the Federal Trade Commission has discussed proposing similar regulations. Consumers can also monitor their credit report to shut down fraudulent activity as quickly as possible.

2. Know the difference between a credit freeze and a lock

A freeze means that a consumer cannot take out a new loan or credit card without “unfreezing” the report first, but also prevents a hacker from taking out a loan in your name. Credit agencies also offer a service called credit “locking,” which offers the same protections as a freeze, but typically cost a monthly fee. Contact Equifax, Experian EXPN, +1.53%  and TransUnion TRU, -1.34%  to request a freeze.

3. Sign up for additional fraud protection

Those affected should sign up for services that go beyond typical credit freezing and alert services, such as LifelockEZ Shield and Identity Guard. The most basic version of Lifelock costs $9.99 per month and provides benefits including address change verification, help canceling or replacing lost credit cards, driver’s licenses, Social Security cards and insurance cards, plus a “restoration team” that helps correct any identity-theft issues and black-market website surveillance.

4. Know the difference between a hack and a breach

A breach is when data is unintentionally left unsecured and vulnerable to hacking, as a result of malicious activity or from negligence. A hack specifically refers to the activities of cyber attackers who purposely compromise IT infrastructure to steal information or to hold systems ransom; that’s what happened with Capital One. If your data was part of a breach, it’s possible it was just left exposed online and was not stolen.

Source: Market Watch

After a rampant start to the year for data breaches and cyber attacks, it’s about time we went one month without at least one massive security incident.

June 2019’s total of 39,713,046 breached records is the lowest since May last year – the month that the GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) came into effect.

Is this the start of the long-awaited ‘GDPR bounce’? We doubt it, but it’s certainly a step in the right direction.

Here’s a full list of every incident in the month of June:

Cyber attacks

Ransomware

Data breaches

Financial information

Malicious insiders and miscellaneous incidents

In other news…

Source: IT Governance