Category Archives: Cybersecurity & Digital Privacy

Data breach exposes data of more than 100K patients at Utah Pathology Services

Data breach exposes data of more than 100K patients at Utah Pathology Services

A number of reports have named healthcare facilities and services as a prime target for cyber attacks, no surprise given the amount of personal data contained in their patient records. What the below report shows, however, is it took the identification of a different problem to reveal the the scope of data that was being made available, including in some cases social security numbers.

As one might expect, Utah Pathology has updated its security measures but it has also offered one year of free identity monitoring services to individuals affected by the incident.

 

The company wrote it discovered on June 30 that an unknown third party hacked into one of its email accounts in an attempt to redirect funds from the business. After discovering the attempted fraud, Utah Pathology secured the email account and launched an investigation.

Approximately 112,000 patients had their personal information exposed by a data breach at Utah Pathology Services.

The breach was discovered when the organization discovered “an unknown party attempted to redirect funds from within Utah Pathology,” according to a press release from the company. The attempted fraud led to the discovered of that patient information was accessible and included one or more of the following:

    • Date of birth
    • Gender
    • Phone number
    • Mailing address
    • Email address
    • Insurance information including ID and group numbers and clinical and diagnostic information related to pathology services
    • And, for a smaller percentage of patients, Social Security number

 

Source: Breach exposes data of more than 100K patients at Utah Pathology Services | KUTV

SIM Cards – Not Just for Network Identification Anymore…

SIM Cards – Not Just for Network Identification Anymore…

Phone number spoofing has always been a pain. New technology ups hackers social engineering game and forces all of us to be ever more vigilant – like tinfoil hat-wearing vigilant…

Little-discussed types of SIM cards make it easy for hackers to spoof any phone number or completely change a user’s voice.

Source: These Illicit SIM Cards Are Making Hacks Like Twitter’s Easier – CoinDesk

Emerging Technology Trend: Data Privacy Compliance Becomes Part of a New Normal

Emerging Technology Trend: Data Privacy Compliance Becomes Part of a New Normal

Data privacy compliance will spur corporate spending, leading to an investing opportunity to those that recognize it.

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) was adopted in April of 2016 by the European Union and became effective in May of 2018. At a high level, these regulations are fairly straightforward in their requirement to “Protect User Data,” but we see that, like any regulation worth its salt, compliance may not be as straightforward as advertised. As you’ll see, despite the complexities and sea of acronyms to be had, the bottom line is data privacy compliance will spur corporate spending, leading to an investing opportunity to those that recognize it. With that said, here’s a look at GDPR’s set of regulations affecting companies that collect data on citizens of countries within the European Union.

This legislation looks to lay out a framework that protects “fundamental rights and freedoms of natural persons and in particular their right to protection of personal data.” From the get-go, this is strong stuff. This is targeted at information that users have already provided (knowingly or unknowingly) to companies they interact with online.

READ MORE HERE: Emerging Technology Trend: Data Privacy Compliance Becomes Part of a New Normal | Nasdaq

Alexa hack showcases vulnerabilities in connected IoT devices

Alexa hack showcases vulnerabilities in connected IoT devices

A recent report from Check Point Security (CHKP) revealed a number of Amazon (AMZN) and Alexa subdomains were vulnerable to a Cross-Origin Resource Sharing (CORS) misconfiguration and Cross Site Scripting (XSS). The report goes on to say that by using XSS, an attacker would be able to acquire a CSRF token that would provide them access to elements of the smart home installation. Another reminder of the dark side to our increasingly connected Digital Lifestyle and one that also bodes well for those constituents inside the Foxberry Tematica Research Cybersecurity & Data Privacy Index

According to the researchers, these could include automatically installing Alexa skills without the knowledge of the user, acquiring a list of all installed skills, silently removing installed skills, acquiring the victim’s voice history with Alexa, and to even gain personal information.

This skill manipulation can allow for a modified version of an existing skill to be installed and then used by the user, one that could allow actions to be performed by the attacker, or for further acquisition of data from the user. It could even be possible for an attacker to install a skill to eavesdrop into conversations near an Echo device.

“Internet of Things devices are inherently vulnerable and still lack adequate security, which makes them attractive targets to threat actors,” Check Point writes. “Cybercriminals are continually looking for new ways to breach devices, or use them to infect other critical systems. This research presented a weak point in what is a bridge to such IoT appliances. Both the bridge and the devices serve as entry points. They must be kept secured at all times to keep hackers from infiltrating our smart homes.”

Source: Alexa hack granted attackers access to an Echo user’s smart home network | Appleinsider

GDPR class action lawsuits over cookie tracking consent hit Oracle and Salesforce

GDPR class action lawsuits over cookie tracking consent hit Oracle and Salesforce

One of the key differentiators in Tematica’s Cybersecurity & Digital Privacy investment theme and the Foxberry Tematica Research Cybersecurity & Data Privacy Index has been the recognition of the evolving data privacy regulatory landscape. One of those key pieces is the GDPR regulation, which includes consent for processing an  EU citizens’ personal data must be informed, specific and given freely and confers rights on individuals surrounding their data, including ability to receive a copy of their personal information. It’s against that regulatory backdrop that Oracle and Salesforce are lawsuits in the UK and Netherlands.

The high profile nature of these companies and therefore these lawsuits along with the impact on third party cookie usage for ad tracking and targeting and the potential size of the fines to be had make these cases to watch.

 

The use of third party cookies for ad tracking and targeting by data broker giants Oracle and Salesforce is the focus of class action style litigation announced today in the UK and the Netherlands.

Non-profit foundation, The Privacy Collective, has filed one case today with the District Court of Amsterdam, accusing the two data broker giants of breaching the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in their processing and sharing of people’s information via third party tracking cookies and other adtech methods.

The Dutch case, which is being led by law-firm bureau Brandeis, is the biggest-ever class action in The Netherlands related to violation of the GDPR — with the claimant foundation representing the interests of all Dutch citizens whose personal data has been used without their consent and knowledge by Oracle and Salesforce.

A similar case is due to be filed later this month at the High Court in London England, which will make reference to the GDPR and the UK’s PECR (Privacy of Electronic Communications Regulation) — the latter governing the use of personal data for marketing communications. The case there is being led by law firm Cadwalader.

Discussing the lawsuit in a telephone call with TechCrunch, Dr Rebecca Rumbul, class representative and claimant in England & Wales, said: “There is, I think, no way that any normal person can really give informed consent to the way in which their data is going to be processed by the cookies that have been placed by Oracle and Salesforce.

“When you start digging into it there are numerous, fairly pernicious ways in which these cookies can and probably do operate — such as cookie syncing, and the aggregation of personal data — so there’s really, really serious privacy concerns there.”

Source: Oracle and Salesforce hit with GDPR class action lawsuits over cookie tracking consent | TechCrunch

Cybersecurity and Privacy Concerns Fuel Raft of New Regulations

Cybersecurity and Privacy Concerns Fuel Raft of New Regulations

To say consumers have embraced our Digital Lifestyle would be a huge understatement. That structural shift in how we conduct our lives, transact, consume content, pay bills and so forth has led companies to respond with new services and points of connection while others have sought to leverage all the data crumbs to be collected and monetized along the way. We recently discussed the growing threat of cyber vulnerabilities but there is also the growing concern over digital data privacy. So much so, that we are seeing data regulations being enacted across the globe, and the fines associated with these regulations can not only do serious financial harm to a company found in violation, but they also open up a new attack incentive for bad actors.

READ MORE HERE

Another privacy watchdog to investigate TikTok

Another privacy watchdog to investigate TikTok

It seems a day doesn’t go by that we don’t hear of another digital or data privacy concern. A reminder that we need to be careful and mindful with our digital footprint, but also a positive driver for the Foxberry Ltd Tematica Research, LLC Cybersecurity & Digital Privacy Index and the corresponding ETF from Rize ETF.

Today’s latest Signal is below and its and it raises potential questions for potential TikTok suitors such as Microsoft (MSFT) and others. It also likely means privacy focused Apple (AAPL), which had been reportedly talking to TikTok will take a hard pass on the company.

France’s data privacy watchdog CNIL said on Tuesday that it has opened a preliminary investigation into Chinese-owned video-sharing app TikTok after it received a complaint.

TikTok, owned by China’s ByteDance, is already under investigation over privacy concerns by U.S., European Union and Dutch authorities.

“A complaint about TikTok was received in May. This complaint is now under investigation,” a CNIL spokesman said, confirming a Bloomberg report.

In the United States, officials have said that TikTok poses a national security risk because of the personal data it handles.

In June, the European Data Protection Board (EDPB) said it would set up a task force to assess TikTok’s activities across the bloc after a request from an EU lawmaker concerned about its data collection and security and privacy risks.

Source: French privacy watchdog opens preliminary investigation into TikTok

You may want to think twice before opening that email…

You may want to think twice before opening that email…

According to Barracuda Networks, cybercriminals are increasingly registering accounts with legitimate email services, especially Alphabet’s (GOOGL) Gmail and Verizon’s (VZ) Yahoo, to use them in impersonation and Business Email Compromise (BEC) attacks. Another data point that speaks to the ingenuity of attackers capitalizing to compromise on defense weaknesses, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic, and the growing demand profile for cybersecurity and data privacy solutions that are propelling the constituents in the Foxberry Tematica Research Cybersecurity & Data Privacy Index.

In their most recent threat spotlight report, Barracuda researchers observed that 6,170 malicious accounts that have used Gmail, AOL and other email services, have been responsible for over 100,000 BEC attacks which have impacted nearly 6,600 organizations. What’s more, since April 1, these ‘malicious accounts’ have been behind 45% of all BEC attacks detected.

Essentially, cybercriminals are using malicious accounts to impersonate an employee or trusted partner, and send highly personalized messages for the purpose of tricking other employees into leaking sensitive information, or sending over money.

The preferred choice of email service for malicious accounts is Gmail, which accounts for 59% of all email domains used by cybercriminals. Yahoo! is the second most popular, accounting for just 6% of all observed malicious account attacks.

Source: 6,600 organizations bombarded with 100,000+ BEC attacks – Help Net Security

UN Reports Sharp Increase in Cybercrime During the COVID-19 Pandemic

UN Reports Sharp Increase in Cybercrime During the COVID-19 Pandemic

During the March and June quarter earnings seasons, constituents in the Foxberry Tematica Research Cybersecurity & Data Privacy Index reported an upswing in demand due to a variety of issues associated with the COVID0-19 pandemic. The United Nations has only recently confirmed what those companies and others shared about the March 2020 quarter as it found a 350% increase in phishing attacks.

With the pandemic response that included lockdowns and sheltering in place growing in the first half of the June quarter, particularly in the US, as businesses contended with the coronavirus, we suspect the UN’s eventual findings for the June quarter will reveal a similar year over year increase in cyber attacks. As we have seen before, an individual’s or a company’s pain, is an opportunity for cyber attackers.

 

A 350% increase in phishing websites was reported in the first quarter of the year, many targeting hospitals and health care systems and hindering their work responding to the COVID-19 pandemic, the U.N. counterterrorism chief said Thursday.

He said the U.N. and global experts don’t yet fully understand “the impact and consequences of the pandemic on global peace and security, and more specifically on organized crime and terrorism.”

Undersecretary-General Voronkov said the discussions showed a shared understanding and concern that “terrorists are generating funds from illicit trafficking in drugs, goods, natural resources and antiquities, as well as kidnapping for ransom, extorting and committing other heinous crimes.”

He said U.N. member nations “are rightly focused on tackling the health emergency and human crisis caused by COVID-19,” but he urged them not to forget the threat of terrorism.

Source: UN Reports Sharp Increase in Cybercrime During Pandemic – The New York Times