Archive for May 4, 2022

Guest Post: US Data Compromises Affected Over 20 Million People In Q1 2022 Says Atlas VPN

Posted in Commentary with tags on May 4, 2022 by itnerd

From appointment scheduling and calendar service FlexBooker to CVS Pharmacy, data compromises are still a grim reality in 2022.

According to the data presented by the Atlas VPN team, based on the Identity Theft Resource Center research, publicly reported data compromises in the United States affected 20,773,963 million victims (approximately 230,822 a day) in the first quarter of 2022. In total, there were 404 compromises reported from January through March.

Compared to the first quarter of 2021, data compromises increased by 14%, from 354 to 404. However, the number of victims actually fell by 50%, from 41,254,479 to 20,773,963, indicating smaller but more targeted data breaches. 

Cyberattacks were responsible for 91% of US data compromises in Q1 2022. In total, 367 data breaches happened due to cyberattacks, claiming 13,525,762 victims. Most common cyberattacks include phishing, smishing, and business email compromise (110), ransomware (67), and malware (22).

System and human errors were the reason for 32 or 8% of data compromises in the US within the first three months of the year, affecting 7,223,708 victims. The main reasons behind the errors were email and letter correspondence (12), misconfigured firewalls (5), and failure to configure cloud security (4).

The remaining 1% of data compromises were due to physical attacks, such as document theft, device theft, and improper disposal. Such events took 21,601 victims.

The technology sector suffered the most

Almost no major economic sectors were spared from data breaches in the first quarter of this year. However, some were affected more than others.

The most impacted industry in terms of the number of victims was technology, with 10,832,588 million breached accounts. Data compromises affecting the sector were also the most prolific, with one breach on average involving nearly 677,037 accounts. In total, the sector faced 16 data compromise events in Q1 2022. 

The second most affected sector in terms of victims was financial services. It suffered from 68 compromises impacting 3,384,769 people. Meanwhile, the healthcare industry faced 73 compromises — more than any other sector and affected 2,560,465 people. Both financial and healthcare sectors are highly lucrative targets to cybercriminals due to valuable data stored by the companies working in the industry. 

To read the full article, head over to: https://atlasvpn.com/blog/us-data-compromises-affected-over-20-million-people-in-q1-2022

Cognitive Systems Launches Caregiver Aware

Posted in Commentary with tags on May 4, 2022 by itnerd

Cognitive Systems Corp. announced today the launch of Caregiver Aware, a revolutionary advancement in preventative health. Working directly with service providers during development to understand their challenges, Caregiver Aware was designed with flexible go-to-market options that leverage providers’ existing infrastructure and hardware. Building on the success of its Home Aware security product that commercially launched in 2019, Caregiver Aware’s predictive analytics has the potential to significantly disrupt the broadband services market and our definition of “smart home.”

Caregiver Aware is powered by WiFi Motion™, which is currently active in over 70 countries and leverages connected IoT devices to transform the entire home into a motion-sensing network without additional hardware. It is an end-to-end solution featuring Cognitive Systems’ patented algorithms, clean iOS and Android app interfaces. Backed by robust integration support from Cognitive’s QA and commercialization experts, the optimized data management system does not impact broadband performance. This launch represents a key moment for service providers looking to enter the rapidly growing field of remote eldercare by providing their customers with a tool for aging in place.

Caregiver Aware is currently being trialed with service provider partners. It allows caregivers to complete remote wellness checks and view live motion in a loved one’s home without intruding on their privacy or independence in the way cameras or wearable devices do. This launch represents the tip of the iceberg for remote eldercare monitoring, with new features already in development aimed at capturing behavioural patterns based on natural motion AI, improving localization and enabling customized notifications.

With aging populations around the world, the remote eldercare industry is poised to take off. However, with current world events and chip shortages, integration timelines can be lengthy. Service providers looking to enter the market need to start conversations now about where care solutions fit into their product roadmaps.

Learn more about how WiFi Sensing is ushering in a new era of preventative healthcare here.

Google releases 2021 Ads Safety Report

Posted in Commentary with tags on May 4, 2022 by itnerd

Today, Google released the 2021 edition of their annual Ads Safety Report. With user safety a top priority, the report showcases the work Google is doing to improve user privacy in digital advertising across Google’s advertising ecosystem – in order to protect users and curb bad practices by malicious actors. In fact, Google tripled the number of advertising  account suspensions in 2021.

The 2021 edition of the annual Ads Safety report provides an overview of the scale of enforcement actions taken by Google on key areas such as fraudulent ads and advertising accounts, misinformation and brand safety for advertisers. 

Key insights from the 2021 Ads Safety Report:

  • Ad takedown and account suspensions – In 2021, Google took down 3.4 billion bad ads and suspended nearly 5.6 million advertiser accounts
  • COVID- 19 – Since the beginning of the pandemic, Google blocked over 106 million ads from running that violated our policies against harmful health claims related to COVID-19. 
  • Responding to the war in Ukraine – Google blocked over 8 million ads in accordance to their Sensitive Events policy and removed ads from more than 60 state funded media sites across our platforms. 

To stay ahead of potential advertising threats, Google continues to evolve their policy development and enforcement strategies to offset the trend of online abuse and to help foster a sustainable ecosystem for businesses that rely on advertising to scale and reach new customers.

Here are links to the Ads Safety Report and blog post for your reading pleasure.

New AvosLocker Variant Disables AV To Evade Detection

Posted in Commentary with tags on May 4, 2022 by itnerd

Trend Micro researchers have discovered a new variant of AvosLocker ransomware that disables antivirus solutions to evade detection after breaching target networks by taking advantage of unpatched security flaws. This is the first sample observed from the US with the capability to disable a defense solution using a legitimate Avast Anti-Rootkit Driver file. The ransomware is also capable of scanning multiple endpoints for Log4Shell.

Chris Olson, CEO of The Media Trust had this to say:

“Like many other ransomware attacks from recent memory, the new AvosLocker variant targeted a vulnerable third-party service (in this case, a web-based password locker). As organizations come to rely more and more on digital tools and services to run their business, they should learn about the dangers of digital supply chain attacks and continually monitor their partners to enforce trust and safety standards. Just as AvosLocker evades detection in the course of a breach, Web and mobile apps are increasingly targeted by cyber actors using sophisticated techniques such as obfuscated and polymorphic code to dodge blockers or URL filters.”

The fact that this new variant leverages Log4Shell, and takes such evasive action shows how dangerous this variant is. Thus it means that you should make sure you are completely updated in terms of any security patches and antivirus definitions so that you don’t become the next victim of this variant.

NHS Hit By Account Takeover Attack Exploiting Legitimate Employee Accounts To Hijack for User Credentials

Posted in Commentary with tags on May 4, 2022 by itnerd

Researchers at INKY have released a new report which uncovers an account takeover attack exploiting the The National Health Service (NHS) in the UK. As the host for any government entity in the UK, this attack is systemically hitting thousands from legitimate email accounts.

These emails are presenting fake new document notifications with malicious links to credential harvesting sites that targeted Microsoft credentials. 

Starting in October 2021 and escalating dramatically in March 2022, INKY detected 1,157 phishing emails originating from NHSMail, the NHS email system for employees based in England and Scotland. Last year, this service was migrated from an on-premise installation to Microsoft Exchange Online. This migration, with its changed security environment, could have been a factor in the attack. 

We reported our initial findings to the NHS on April 13, and as of April 14, the volume of attacks decreased dramatically, as the NHS took measures to stop them. However, INKY users were still receiving a few phishing emails from the NHS mail domain (nhs[.]net) after that time. 

You can read the full report here and it is very much worth reading so that you are on top of this attack campaign.