Archive for January 21, 2021

Guest Post: Ransomware Accounts For 81% Of All Financially Motivated Cyberattacks In 2020 Says Atlas VPN

Posted in Commentary with tags on January 21, 2021 by itnerd

Ransomware is a type of malicious malware used by cybercriminals to encrypt sensitive information that can be regained if a ransom is paid. Last year’s data reveals that this type of attack is one of the cybercriminals’ favorite methods.

The Atlas VPN team found that ransomware made up a whopping 81% of all financially motivated cyberattacks in 2020. The remaining 19% include point-of-sale intrusions, e-commerce attacks, business email compromise, and cryptocurrency mining.

As ransomware technology has developed over the last thirty years since its creation in 1989, its threat levels have grown too. In 2020, ransomware attacks caused greater financial damage per breach than average malicious attacks.

An average malicious attack cost victims $4.27 million per assault. In the meantime, ransomware attacks cost 4% more — $4.44 million per breach.

The top 5 biggest ransomware attack payouts of 2020

The year 2020 saw a fair share of ransomware attacks that affected companies and organizations worldwide. 

One of the most significant ransomware attacks in 2020 was the Garmin breach. Garmin, an American multinational technology company, is believed to have paid $10 million to its hackers. Garmin was targeted by WastedLocker, ransomware credited to a Russia-based cybercriminal group called Evil Corp.

The next biggest ransom payout to cybercriminals in 2020 belongs to a business travel management company CWT Global. Cybercriminals behind the attack used Ragnar Locker and collected a payment of $4.5 million.

Travelex, a British foreign exchange firm, rounds out the top three companies in this list. The Sodinokibi gang, also known as REvil, is said to be responsible for the attack. Travelex paid the criminal group $2.3 million.

Other organizations that paid a significant ransom to cybercriminals last year include the University of California San Francisco ($1.14 million), as well as Communications and Power Industries ($0.5 million).

Rachel Welch, COO of Atlas VPN, shares her thoughts on ransomware attack trends:

It is hard to predict whether this year’s ransomware attack levels will surpass the ones of 2020. However, as global companies continue to fall into the traps of ransomware attacks, it is safe to say they are not going anywhere.

To read the full article, head over to: https://atlasvpn.com/blog/ransomware-accounts-for-81-of-all-financially-motivated-cyberattacks-in-2020

Epik Hosting Sends Out Messaging Related To Parler…. Which Is Very Interesting

Posted in Commentary with tags on January 21, 2021 by itnerd

This morning I got a very unusual email from Epik Hosting. Unusual because I have never reached out to or dealt with them on any level in the past. I’ve only written about them. You might recall that Epik have a reputation for being the host of choice for right wing and new-nazi types in the United States. And they were said to be currently trying to help right wing social media site Parler get back on line after being Thanos snapped off the Internet by Amazon Web Services, as well as Apple, and Google for allowing the violence at the Capitol to be planned on their site. In any case, the email directed me towards a press release that was online. And in that press release, the key item is this:

Read a certain way, it sounds like Epik isn’t actively involved in this effort to bring Parler back from the dead.

The next part of the statement reads like they are trying to distance themselves from their reputation.

Which is interesting as to the best of my knowledge their reputation is as follows:

But maybe the cynic in me is making an appearance.

The rest of this statement reads like a call for free speech and civil discourse. Here’s an example:

So, if I take this whole statement I read it as follows:

  • Epik isn’t exactly helping Parler to get back online, but they support Parler
  • Epik supports free speech and Parler is part of that.

Again, maybe I am getting cynical in my old age, but I look at this statement and I really feel that there’s a fair amount of spin and support of Parler here. Which is interesting because Epik is allegedly not helping them. Perhaps I am reading this wrong. But given the track record that Epik apparently has, looking at this statement with some degree of suspicion seems to be warranted. At least in my view.

TELUS Launches Newest Health For Good Mobile Clinic To Support Toronto’s Most Marginalized Citizens

Posted in Commentary with tags on January 21, 2021 by itnerd

Today, TELUS announced the expansion of the company’s innovative Health for Goodprogram with Parkdale Queen West Community Health Centre (CHC) and University Health Network’s (UHN) Social Medicine Program. The Parkdale Queen West Mobile Health Clinic powered by TELUS Health, a specially-equipped clinic on wheels, will provide essential primary health and harm reduction services directly to underserved persons in neighbourhoods in the mid-west region of Toronto. In addition, the clinic will enable mobile COVID-19 testing and vaccination efforts at homeless sheltering sites, congregate housing for marginalized populations and in areas with high positivity rates.

Estimates show that there are more than 8,700 Torontonians experiencing homelessness each day. In addition, marginalized populations struggling with poverty are often challenged to access primary health care, counselling and mental health support, as well as harm reduction and illness prevention services. Through this collaborative partnership,TELUS, Parkdale Queen West CHC and UHN’s Social Medicine Program’s main goal is to improve the health and wellbeing of these individuals and communities who are at-risk and/or face barriers to accessing high quality health care services and supports.

Backed by a $10 million commitment from TELUS, Health for Good is already active from coast-to-coast with clinics operating in Victoria, Vancouver, Surrey, Calgary, Edmonton, Ottawa, Mississauga-Peel Region, Waterloo Region, Montreal, Halifax, and now Toronto. These state-of-the-art mobile health clinics operate in communities where frontline care is urgently needed and act as a vital link between the community and local health authority. Through a combination of drop-in primary care and individually targeted follow up visits, the mobile outreach team builds rapport and enables a continuity of care for people who have been underserved by the traditional clinical care model. In 2020, several mobile health clinics supported COVID-19 response efforts, operating as assessment and testing centres and offering support to people leaving isolation and recovering from COVID-19. Since the program’s inception in 2014, TELUS Health Mobile Clinics have supported over 50,000 patient visits.

This mobile health clinic, and others across the country, are equipped with TELUS Health electronic medical record (EMR) technology. The TELUS Health EMR will enable clinic staff to collect and store health data, examine results over time, and provide better continuity of care to patients who previously had undocumented medical histories. The clinic is also equipped with TELUS LTE Wi-Fi and TELUS Mobility services.

The medical clinic is divided into two main areas: one for patient reception and mental health care and a second private, but more spacious area with an examination table and a physician/nursing workstation.  This design  helps improve patient privacy and allows the team to treat patients with the dignity and respect they deserve.

For more information about TELUS Health for Good, visit telus.com/healthforgood.