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IT Security Newsletter - 7/6/22



Human Error Blamed for Leak of 1 Billion Records of Chinese Citizens

A developer appears to have divulged credentials to a police database on a popular developer forum, leading to a breach and subsequent bid to sell 23 terabytes of personal data on the dark web. A prominent Chinese tech CEO has cited human error as the likely reason hackers got their hands on the personal data of 1 billion people in China from a Shanghai police database and then put some of it up for sale on illicit online markets. READ MORE...

Data Breach at PFC USA Impacts Patients of 650 Healthcare Providers

Just ahead of the 4th of July weekend, accounts receivable management firm Professional Finance Company (PFC USA) started sending out data breach notification letters to patients of over 650 healthcare providers across the country. The Northern Colorado-based company has been engaged in debt recovery for over a century, working with organizations in healthcare, financial, retail, and government sectors. READ MORE...

Marriott confirms latest data breach, possibly exposing information on hotel guests, employees

Marriott International confirmed Tuesday that unknown criminal hackers broke into its computer networks and then attempted to extort the company, marking the latest in a string of successful cyberattacks against one of the world's biggest hotel chains. The incident, first reported early Tuesday by databreaches.net, allegedly occurred roughly a month ago and was the work of a group claiming to be "an international group working for about five years," according to the site. READ MORE...


Cloud-based malware is on the rise. How can you secure your business?

There's a lot of reasons to think the cloud is more secure than on-prem servers, from better data durability to more consistent patch management - but even so, there are many threats to cloud security businesses should address. Cloud-based malware is one of them. Indeed, while cloud environments are generally more resilient to cyberthreats than on-prem infrastructure, malware delivered over the cloud increased by 68% in early 2021 - opening the door for a variety of different cyber attacks. READ MORE...


AstraLocker ransomware reportedly closes doors to pursue cryptojacking

The developer of the AstraLocker ransomware code is reportedly ceasing operations and turning attention to the far simpler art and crime of cryptojacking. AstraLocker seems to be an offshoot of the Babuk Locker ransomware-as-a-service gang, whose source code was leaked last year. Both were identified in 2021. The developer of AstraLocker posted a ZIP folder containing decryptors for the AstraLocker ransomware via VirusTotal, which Bleeping Computer said are legit. READ MORE...

Information Security

The Ukraine war could provide a cyberwarfare manual for Chinese generals eyeing Taiwan

Military leaders around the world are closely watching Russia's invasion of Ukraine, which just entered its fifth month, but perhaps none more than those in China are tracking the intricacies of Russia's cyberattacks designed to further cripple Kyiv. Cybersecurity experts and China observers who spoke to CyberScoop strongly believe that Beijing's military leaders are learning from Russia's approach to cyberspace - missteps and all - during the Ukraine conflict. READ MORE...

Science & Culture

TikTok is "unacceptable security risk" and should be removed from app stores, says FCC

Brendan Carr, the commissioner of the FCC (Federal Communications Commission), called on the CEOs of Apple and Google to remove TikTok from their app stores. In a letter dated June 24, 2022, Carr told Tim Cook and Sundar Pichai that "TikTok poses an unacceptable national security risk due to its extensive data harvesting being combined with Beijing's apparently unchecked access to that sensitive data." READ MORE...

On This Date

  • ...in 1946, actor/director/screenwriter Sylvester Stallone ("Rocky", "First Blood") is born in New York City.
  • ...in 1946, the 43rd President of the United States, George W. Bush, is born in New Haven, CT.
  • ...in 1957, John Lennon and Paul McCartney meet for the first time. Three years later, they would form the Beatles.
  • ...in 1980, actress/model Eva Green ("Casino Royale", "Penny Dreadful") is born in Paris.