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IT Security Newsletter

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IT Security Newsletter - 10/2/2019


Ransomware forces 3 hospitals to turn away all but the most critical patients

Ten hospitals—three in Alabama and seven in Australia—have been hit with paralyzing ransomware attacks that are affecting their ability to take new patients, it was widely reported on Tuesday. All three hospitals that make up the DCH Health System in Alabama were closed to new patients on Tuesday as officials there coped with an attack that paralyzed the health network's computer system. The hospitals—DCH Regional Medical Center in Tuscaloosa, Northport Medical Center, and Fayette Medical Center—are turning away "all but the most critical new patients" at the time this post was going live.

American Express Customer Info Accessed by Employee for Possible Fraud

An American Express employee is being investigated for accessing card holder information and potentially using it to open accounts at other financial institutions. Starting on September 30th, 2019, American Express began sending out data breach notifications to cardholder members whose information was fraudulently accessed by an employee.

Ex-Yahoo employee admits trawling through user accounts for explicit content

 A former software engineer with Yahoo has pled guilty to hacking into approximately 6,000 user accounts, including those of his friends and colleagues, in order to search for explicit or sexual material. Reyes Daniel Ruiz, 34, has been accused of hacking into thousands of Yahoo accounts through his work at the company in an attempt to find sexual images and videos from the account holders.


Chinese-linked hacking group gets crafty to avoid detection

Over the last several months, Chinese-linked hackers have been targeting a Southeast Asian government using simple spearphishing emails and hundreds of malicious documents with a focus on consistently changing their tactics to avoid detection, according to Check Point research. The most noteworthy part of the hackers’ months-long campaign is their perpetually changing tactics, according to Michael Abramzon, the cyber research team lead at Check Point.

Of All State-Backed Hackers, the Chinese Hit Most Industries

Hackers working for the Chinese government deployed attacks against the largest number of industry verticals in the first half of the year. The sectors of most interest to them rarely align with those from other states running hacking operations, according to a report from threat intelligence and cyber attack response services company Crowdstrike.

New Silent Starling Gang Targets 500+ Vendors in BEC Scam Twist

In a variation of the classic business email compromise (BEC) scam, a cyber gang managed to compromise email accounts of more than 700 employees from over 500 companies in 14 countries. In a typical BEC scam, cybercriminals use emails impersonating an upper or middle-management employee with payment instructions for an account operated by the hackers to people in the same company from the financial department.


Mariposa Botnet Author, Darkcode Crime Forum Admin Arrested in Germany

A Slovenian man convicted of authoring the destructive and once-prolific Mariposa botnet and running the infamous Darkode cybercrime forum has been arrested in Germany on request from prosecutors in the United States, who’ve recently re-indicted him on related charges.


Hack Breaks PDF Encryption, Opens Content to Attackers

Researchers in Germany have invented a new hack that can allow someone to break the encryption of PDF files and access their content — or even forge signed PDF files under certain circumstances. A team from Ruhr University Bochum, FH Münster University of Applied Sciences and Hackmanit GmbH developed the attack, called PDFex, that can allow an attacker to view the content of a PDF file without the public key or password encrypting it.