Scam Of The Week: Ransomware Infection Causes Loss of 8 Years of Police Department Evidence
The Police Department in Cockrell Hill, Texas, admitted in a press release that they lost 8 years’ worth of evidence after the department’s server was infected with ransomware.
The lost evidence includes all body camera video, and sections of in-car video, in-house surveillance video, photographs, and all their Microsoft Office documents. OUCH 1.
The department says the infection was discovered on December 12, last year, and the crooks asked for a $4,000 ransom fee to unlock the files.
After consulting with the FBI’s cyber-crime unit, the department decided to wipe their data server and reinstall everything. Data could not be recovered from backups, as the backup procedure kicked in shortly after the ransomware took root, and backed up copies of the encrypted files. OUCH 2.
Remember, Think before you click!
HealthcareinfoSecurity – HHS Deputy CISO Spearheads Cybersecurity Effort
Leo Scanlon, deputy CISO at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, will take a lead role as HHS sharpens its ongoing focus on cybersecurity issues, an effort that will continue under the Trump administration, he explains.
HHS is modifying the deputy CISO role “to accommodate the need for a senior adviser to coordinate 360-degree presence of [HHS] in the healthcare sector for cybersecurity, something until now the agency has not been able to do,” he says. The deputy CISO is not a politically appointed position.
The Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act, which was signed into law in late 2015, created a task force that’s been working to create a set of recommendations that will be released soon, Scanlon explains in an interview with Information Security Media Group.
HHS has a working group, which Scanlon chairs, that coordinates the cybersecurity efforts of all of the agency’s various units. That group will respond to the upcoming cybersecurity recommendations of the CISA-related task force, he explains.
HealthcareinfoSecurity – Medicare Contractors Struggle with Security Gaps
An annual review of nine contractors providing Medicare with administrative services shows that while their information security programs were deemed “adequate in scope and sufficiency,” the number of gaps grew from a previous annual review.
A report issued on Jan. 23 by the Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Inspector General says an annual review in fiscal 2015 of nine contractors that provide administrative services, such as processing and paying Medicare fee-for-service claims for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, identified a total of 149 security gaps, compared with 129 gaps identified in fiscal 2014. The fiscal 2015 review identified 22 high-risk gaps, but the report did not name them.
Darkreading – Netflix Scam Spreads Ransomware
A newly discovered threat aims to steal Netflix user credentials and hold them hostage, according to researchers at Trend Micro.
Netflix has 93 million subscribers in more than 190 countries. It’s a popular app, but many people aren’t willing to pay the monthly subscription fee. They’ll try to bypass the cost and watch content for free – and cybercriminals are now taking advantage of them.
This newly detected ransomware, RANSOM_NETIX.A, aims to trick Windows PC users with a login generator typically used for software and account membership piracy. This type of program is found on malicious websites promising access to paid Web-based services.
Securitymagazine.com – Most Americans Fail Cybersecurity Best Practices
Even after being hacked, most Americans fail to properly protect their online personal information online.
Research by Pew Research finds that a majority of Americans (64%) have personally experienced a major data breach, and relatively large shares of the public lack trust in key institutions – especially the federal government and social media sites – to protect their personal information.
The survey examined several different types of data theft and found that 64% of U.S. adults have been impacted by at least one of them:
- 41% of Americans have encountered fraudulent charges on their credit cards.
- 35% have received notices that some type of sensitive information (like an account number) had been compromised.
- 16% say that someone has taken over their email accounts, and 13% say someone has taken over one of their social media accounts.
- 15% have received notices that their Social Security number had been compromised.
- 14% say that someone has attempted to take out loans or lines of credit in their name.
- 6% say that someone has impersonated them in order to file fraudulent tax returns.
Microsoft – Microsoft Prevails in Case Involving Stored Emails
Microsoft has prevailed after a U.S. appeals court reaffirmed the company does not have to turn over emails that are stored overseas to federal authorities investigating a crime. The closely watched case explored the territorial boundaries of U.S. law in the cloud computing age.
In a 4-4 decision on Jan. 24, the U.S. Second Circuit Court of Appeals found that the federal government cannot request through a warrant any emails maintained outside the U.S. The court denied rehearing the case, which the government sought, although federal officials could now petition the Supreme Court.
The case tested the limits of the Stored Communications Act, passed by Congress in 1986, which outlines how the government can obtain electronic communications. The law does not address communications stored in another country.
Cisco – Cisco Announces Intent to Acquire Application Performance Monitoring Leader AppDynamics
Cisco (NASDAQ: CSCO) announced today its intent to acquire AppDynamics, Inc., a privately held application intelligence software company based in San Francisco. AppDynamics’s cloud application and business monitoring platform enables the world’s largest companies to improve application and business performance. Cisco will acquire AppDynamics for approximately $3.7 billion in cash and assumed equity awards.
“Applications have become the lifeblood of a company’s success. Keeping those apps running and performing well has never been more important. Unfortunately, that job has only gotten harder, as IT departments and developers struggle with a tangled web of disconnected, complex data that’s hard to understand,” said Rowan Trollope, Cisco senior vice president and general manager of Cisco’s Internet of Things and Applications Business Group. “The combination of Cisco and AppDynamics will allow us to provide end to end visibility and intelligence from the network through to the application; which, combined with security and scale, and will help IT to drive a new level of business results.”
Security Bulletins from the FBI and DHS
DHS – DHS S&T Awards $527K to Brigham Young University to Develop Cyber Security Technology
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) has awarded $527,112 to Brigham Young University (BYU) in Provo, Utah, to develop a web authentication middleware tool that would significantly upgrade the current Internet website authentication process and improve online security.
The award is part of the Homeland Security Advanced Research Projects Agency Cyber Security Division’s (CSD) Internet Measurement and Attack Modeling (IMAM) project that works with researchers in academia and the cybersecurity community to develop solutions in the areas of resilient systems, modeling of Internet attacks and network mapping and measurement.
FBI – Criminal Justice Information Services (CJIS)
The FBI’s Criminal Justice Information Services Division, or CJIS, is a high-tech hub in the hills of West Virginia that provides a range of state of-the-art tools and services to law enforcement, national security and intelligence community partners, and the general public.
Mission: To equip our law enforcement, national security, and intelligence community partners with the criminal justice information they need to protect the United States while preserving civil liberties.