Archive for May 7, 2023

Scammers Are Using AI To Fake Your Friends Or Relatives Voices In Order To #Scam You…. Here’s How To Protect Yourself From Being A Victim Of This #Scam

Posted in Commentary with tags on May 7, 2023 by itnerd

Picture this scenario: You get a call and you hear a voice that sounds like a relative such as a grandchild in a panic, or perhaps a friend pleading for money. They may say that they are stuck in a foreign country and can’t get home, or they are in jail and need bail money. Whatever the case is, they need help. And they need money.

Now I have heard of a version of this scam many years ago where you get an email from either an email account that has a spoofed email address that belongs to a relative or friend that you recognize, or from a hacked email account that belongs to a relative or friend that you recognize. But AI has taken this scam to the next level. What scammers are now doing is the following:

  • The scammer picks a victim.
  • The scammer finds a voice from a friend or relative of the victim. The voice can be from a TikTok video for example.
  • The scammer uses AI based voice cloning program to clone the voice and give it the ability to say anything.
  • The scammer then calls the victim by phone and executes the scam.

This sounds like a science fiction movie plot, but it isn’t. The cost of these AI based voice cloning programs are dropping by the day. That combined with the fact that a simple Google search will help a scammer to find a piece of software that fits their needs means that this is a real problem that you have to be aware of.

So, how do you protect yourself from this new scam? First of all, assume that it is a scam by default by not trusting the voice that you hear. Nor should you trust the phone number that is on your call display. Call the person who supposedly contacted you and verify the story by using a phone number you know is theirs. If you can’t reach your friend or relative that way, try to get in touch with them through another family member or their friends. Also, if they are asking for money via wire transfer, cryptocurrency or via gift cards, this is absolutely a scam and you should hang up immediately.

How prevalent is this scam? I can’t say based on my research of this scam. But if the word gets out about this scam, it is likely that the scammers will move on to something else as this scam will no longer be effective. Thus please share this with your friends and family so they will know how to protect themselves against this scam.

Fleckpe Infects Over 620K With Subscription Malware Via Google Pay

Posted in Commentary with tags on May 7, 2023 by itnerd

Yesterday, Kaspersky revealed ‘Fleckpe’, a new global, Android malware disguised as legitimate apps that generates unauthorized charges by subscribing users to premium services. It was discovered that there were over 600,000 downloads of 11 Fleckpe trojan apps impersonating image editors, photo libraries, premium wallpapers, and more on Google Play.

Upon installation, the malicious app requests access to notification content needed to capture subscription confirmation codes on various premium services. It then decodes a hidden payload which is then executed all while the app maintains promised usability, evading suspicions.

All 11 apps have been removed from the marketplace but there is concern that others have been deployed and yet to be undiscovered. Those who have installed the bad apps to obviously remove them and run an AV scan cleanse any hidden malicious code remaining.

Roy Akerman, Co-Founder & CEO, Rezonate had this comment:

   “Rogue apps that find their way to app stores present a real risk since users have complete trust that those are safe and verified. For the past several years there has been an increase in mobile threats from  dedicated malware at the application and device level, mostly part for financial gain as in the case of Fleckpe, but in many cases for the purpose of bypassing traditional MFA of SMS OTP. Google and Apple have and still are investing a lot to further strengthen their testing of new applications, yet as consumers we should all still remain warry of new applications before downloading.”

This illustrates why you need to be careful with the apps that you install, and what permissions you give them. Otherwise, you might be in for a lot of trouble.

McPherson Hospital Pwned In Ransomware Attack

Posted in Commentary with tags on May 7, 2023 by itnerd

Bad news if you’re a patient of McPherson Hospital, Inc. They has begun notifying over 19K patients of a recent data breach because of a ransomware attack. :

On May 4, 2023, McPherson Hospital, Inc. (“McPherson Center for Health”) filed a notice of data breach with the Maine Attorney General after learning that a ransomware attack resulted in confidential patient information being accessible to unauthorized parties. Based on the company’s official filing, the incident resulted in an unauthorized party gaining access to consumers’ names, Social Security numbers, dates of birth, medical treatment information, medical billing information, and health insurance information. After confirming that consumer data was leaked, McPherson began sending out data breach notification letters to all individuals who were impacted by the recent data security incident.

If you received a data breach notification from the McPherson Center for Health, it is essential you understand what is at risk and what you can do about it. As we’ve mentioned in previous posts, hackers have shown an increased interest in targeting healthcare providers. In large part, this is because these organizations provide hackers with a “one-stop shop” for all the information they need to commit identity theft and other frauds against victims. To learn more about how to protect yourself from becoming a victim of fraud or identity theft and what your legal options are in the wake of the McPherson Hospital data breach, consider consulting with a data breach lawyer.


News of the McPherson Hospital data breach is still fresh; however, what we know at this point comes from the company’s filing with the Maine Attorney General. According to this source, on July 12, 2022, McPherson Hospital learned that it had been the victim of a recent ransomware attack. In response, McPherson began working with third-party data security specialists to investigate the incident and determine what, if any, patient information was leaked.

Through this investigation, the McPherson Center for Health confirmed that the hackers were able to access certain files on the organization’s computer network and that some of these files contained confidential patient information.

Upon discovering that sensitive consumer data was made available to an unauthorized party, McPherson Hospital began to review the affected files to determine what information was compromised and which consumers were impacted. While the breached information varies depending on the individual, it may include your name, Social Security number, date of birth, medical treatment information, medical billing information, and health insurance information.

Well, that’s not good if you’re the hospital in question as you can expect that there will be lawsuits incoming. Ani Chaudhuri, CEO, Dasera had this comment:

“It’s deeply concerning to see another healthcare provider, McPherson Hospital, Inc., fall victim to a ransomware attack, exposing sensitive patient data. As a data security professional, I empathize with the breached organization and the patients affected by this incident. Healthcare providers are becoming prime targets for cybercriminals due to the wealth of personal and medical information they hold.

Healthcare organizations must prioritize data security measures and invest in robust cybersecurity solutions to safeguard their valuable and sensitive patient data. A comprehensive data security approach should include continuous data access, usage, and sharing monitoring to identify and remediate risks in real-time. By implementing a solution that combines automated discovery, classification, and protection of sensitive information with advanced analytics and policy enforcement, healthcare providers can ensure that their patients’ data remains secure, compliant, and well-managed. A strong emphasis on data-centric security and collaboration between IT, security, and compliance teams will significantly reduce the likelihood of data breaches and the potential exposure of patients’ confidential information.

For the patients impacted by the McPherson Center for Health breach, taking immediate steps to mitigate the potential risks of identity theft and fraud is essential. This includes monitoring credit reports, placing fraud alerts on credit files, and staying vigilant for any suspicious activity related to personal information.

While McPherson Hospital has taken steps to investigate the breach and notify affected individuals, it serves as a stark reminder to all healthcare providers to continuously assess and improve their cybersecurity posture. Implementing multi-layered security strategies, including data encryption, access control, and network segmentation, can significantly reduce the risk of similar incidents in the future.

In an age where cyber threats are ever-evolving, it is vital for organizations across all industries, especially healthcare, to remain proactive and adaptive in their approach to data security.”

Healthcare providers need to get their “A game” in gear as threat actors pwning them has now become a bit of a sport with a very high payoff for the threat actors in question. This cannot be allowed to continue if this scourge of ransomware attacks is to be stopped.