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IT Security Newsletter - 10/19/2020



UK Data Privacy Watchdog Slashes BA Fine as Virus Bites

The UK's data privacy watchdog on Friday slashed a fine imposed on British Airways over a cyber attack after taking into account coronavirus fallout on the embattled airline's finances. The UK Information Commissioner's Office said BA would be fined a "record" £20 million ($25 million, 22 million euros), considerably less that the proposed amount totalling £183 million. "As part of the regulatory process the ICO considered both representations from BA and the economic impact of Covid-19 on their business before setting a final penalty." READ MORE...


Hackney Council can't pay housing benefit after cyber attack

The trials and tribulations of London's Hackney Council continue after it suffered a "serious cyber attack" last week. The nature of the cyber attack still remains a mystery to the general public, with the council declining to share details - although many in the IT security community consider ransomware to be the most likely culprit. What isn't in any doubt is the amount of disruption the attack is having on residents of the London borough of Hackney. READ MORE...

French Court Tries Russian for Multi-Million-Euro Cyberfraud

A Russian goes on trial in Paris Monday accused of having defrauded nearly 200 victims across the world of 135 million euros using ransomware. Prosecutors say Alexander Vinnik sent emails to his targets masquerading as invoices, whose attached document, when opened, activated malware that shut down the computer and encrypted its contents. A message would appear on the hacked computer with instructions to pay a ransom in the online currency Bitcoin to regain control of the machine. READ MORE...


Hackers now abuse BaseCamp for free malware hosting

Phishing campaigns have started to use Basecamp as part of malicious phishing campaigns that distribute malware or steal your login credentials. Basecamp is a web-based project management solution that allows people to collaborate, chat with each other, create documents, and share files. When creating documents, they can be formatted with HTML links, images, and stylized text. Basecamp also allows users to upload any file to a project, including file formats that are usually considered unsafe. READ MORE...

Information Security

Fancy Bear imposters are on a hacking extortion spree

Ransomware attacks that tear through corporate networks can bring massive organizations to their knees. But even as these hacks reach new popularity highs-and new ethical lows-among attackers, it's not the only technique criminals are using to shake down corporate victims. A new wave of attacks relies instead on digital extortion-with a side of impersonation. On Wednesday, the Web security firm Radware published extortion notes that had been sent to a variety of companies around the world. READ MORE...

Google Targeted in Record-Breaking 2.5 Tbps DDoS Attack in 2017

Google revealed last week that its infrastructure was targeted in a record-breaking distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attack back in September 2017. When measuring DDoS attacks, Google looks at three main metrics: bits per second (bps) for attacks targeting network links, requests per second (rps) for attacks targeting application servers, and packets per second (pps) for attacks targeting DNS servers and network devices. The tech giant says DDoS attacks have increased significantly over the past years. READ MORE...


Bug bounty reporter cashes out on someone else's exploit

Bug bounty programs have gained increased momentum and interest from the security research community for their role in promoting security awareness and responsible vulnerability disclosure. But they are not without their fair share of problems. Bug bounty platforms fill a genuine need. They help companies solicit vulnerability reports in their products from pen-testers and researchers in a responsible manner while creating a monetary incentive for the researchers who file these reports. READ MORE...

Science & Culture

Global adoption of data and privacy programs still maturing

The importance of privacy and data protection is a critical issue for organizations as it transcends beyond legal departments to the forefront of an organization's strategic priorities. A FairWarning research, based on survey results from more than 550 global privacy and data protection, IT, and compliance professionals outlines the characteristics and behaviors of advanced privacy and data protection teams. By examining the trends of privacy adoption and maturity across industries. READ MORE...

On This Date

  • ...in 1789, John Jay is sworn in as the first Chief Justice of the United States.
  • ...in 1945, actor John Lithgow ("Terms of Endearment", "3rd Rock from the Sun") is born in Rochester, NY.
  • ...in 1962, professional boxer Evander Holyfield is born in Atmore, AL.
  • ...in 1987, stock markets around the world crashed in what became known as "Black Monday."