Archive for July, 2014

Riverside Health System suffers identity fraud

July 30th, 2014

A non-profit healthcare organization, Riverside Health System has declared identity fraud which happened back in 2012. According to the reports, former Riverside Health employee, T’sha Riddick, was involved in a medical identity fraud scheme. She stole credit card information from 13 cancer patients from Cancer Specialists of Tidewater, Virginia.

Information was not available about the way she got the information but it is observed that she has medical fraud history. She was convicted on two counts for identity theft 9 years back in North Carolina.

“Keeping patient information protected is vital at Riverside,” Riverside spokesman Peter Glagola said in a release. “We are looking at ways to improve our monitoring program with more automatic flags to protect our patients.”

Information which caused the breach includes cancer patient’s credit card data and Social Security numbers.

Riverside runs following facilities –

  • Five Hospitals – Facilities in Newport News, Riverside Regional Medical Center.
  • Three specialty hospitals – medical group, surgery centers, retirement communities and home-care services.

Riverside has to do following work for better security –

  • Investigate the way of accessing the information by Riddick
  • Review employee policy
  • Update technology to allow specific access to authorized personals.

Get your personal as well as office laptops encrypted by Alertsec

Unencrypted laptops present a major risk of data loss. 80% of information theft is due to lost or stolen laptops and other equipment. About 50% of network intrusions are performed with credentials gathered from lost or stolen devices. The penalties for a data breach are severe not only in terms of the monetary fines imposed on the organization, but also the potential loss of trust from customers and suppliers. Encryption software greatly enhances the security of your organization’s data as the information is not compromised if a laptop is lost or stolen.

Alertsec Xpress is the full disk encryption service that delivers a mobile data protection system for all information stored on laptops used throughout your organization.

Marketing firm acquires patient names and address

July 28th, 2014

In an unprecedented event, Essentia Health of Fargo, North Dakota, has suffered data breach due to educational event. A marketing firm was able to access 430 patient names and addresses without their consent. Incident occurred when someone from the Essentia gave portable device containing patient data to the firm, Get Marketing. Essentia chief compliance and privacy officer Vicki Clevenger maintained that no patient medical data had been compromised.

“We have also taken the appropriate actions according to our policies and have provided additional education to the staff members involved to prevent future occurrences,” Clevenger said to inforum.com. “There was no additional information shared, including no medical and clinical information,” Clevenger added.

When Essentia was sending patients information to a free educational event that offered new procedures for those dealing with lower back pain, the breach occurred. In all 70 patients attended the event, but Essentia did recognize that a breach had occurred when the event was being promoted. Jodine Wien, a Moorhead patient, complained to Essentia when she found that her name and address had been given to Get Marketing that was involved in sending out the invitations.

“I’m a little angry at Essentia,” Wien said Monday, adding that she was displeased with the health provider’s initial responses to her complaint. “I was treated completely rudely and nobody wanted to say anything.”

Essentia determined that patients’ names and mailing addresses were “erroneously” released to Get Marketing, which was “engaged and paid by a medical device manufacturer, not Essentia Health,” Clevenger wrote Wien.

Get your personal as well as office laptops encrypted by Alertsec

Unencrypted laptops present a major risk of data loss. 80% of information theft is due to lost or stolen laptops and other equipment. About 50% of network intrusions are performed with credentials gathered from lost or stolen devices. The penalties for a data breach are severe not only in terms of the monetary fines imposed on the organization, but also the potential loss of trust from customers and suppliers. Encryption software greatly enhances the security of your organization’s data as the information is not compromised if a laptop is lost or stolen.

Alertsec Xpress is the full disk encryption service that delivers a mobile data protection system for all information stored on laptops used throughout your organization.

Indian Health Services folder causes data breach

July 27th, 2014

Indian Health Services (IHS) suffered data breach when an employee mistakenly left a folder out in a public area. According to the reports, the incident related information can be provided as –

  • All together 620 patients were affected by the incident.
  • Folder contained information which includes patient names, Social Security numbers and enrollment information.
  • Indian Health Service Rosebud Service Unit sent out breach notification letters to the affected clients.
  • Information was not for the reason behind the presence of folder in Rapid City.
  • According to the IHS, information is not misused or accessed inappropriately.
  • IHS has agreed to improve its HIPAA privacy and security training among employees.

The most common question heard and the one that need to be answered is: “Why was that information in Rapid City to begin with?

William Bear Shield, the chairman of the Rosebud Sioux Tribal Health board and a veteran of Desert Storm said, “I represent a community in Gregory County, 90 miles east of Rosebud, so what was my information doing up there?” He said. “Why was it in possession of an individual in Rapid City?”

Bear Shield said he asked employees at the Rosebud Service Unit why information was in Rapid City, but he said no one would give him a straight answer.

“How can I know if someone didn’t find that information and write down my Social Security number and just wait a year before using it?” he asked.

Get your personal as well as office laptops encrypted by Alertsec

Unencrypted laptops present a major risk of data loss. 80% of information theft is due to lost or stolen laptops and other equipment. About 50% of network intrusions are performed with credentials gathered from lost or stolen devices. The penalties for a data breach are severe not only in terms of the monetary fines imposed on the organization, but also the potential loss of trust from customers and suppliers. Encryption software greatly enhances the security of your organization’s data as the information is not compromised if a laptop is lost or stolen.

Alertsec Xpress is the full disk encryption service that delivers a mobile data protection system for all information stored on laptops used throughout your organization.

 

Browsers under attack

July 26th, 2014

Hackers have focused their attacks on browsers which ultimately has common theme for benefiting from the end users. As old versions of the Java Runtime Environment (JRE) are typically now blocked in the browser by default, Java applets require explicit activation from users.

Bromium Labs researchers said, “so this attack vector becomes harder and harder to leverage” and “It’s evident that attackers continue to shift focus in between ubiquitous internet facing applications, but there’s a common theme throughout – attacking the end users.” It leaves hackers looking to other popular applications to exploit.

According to the reports by the lab, Microsoft’s IE was one of the most patched and one of the most exploited applications in 2014’s first half, targeted more often than Mozilla’s Firefox, Google Chrome, Java, Adobe Flash, Adobe Reader or Microsoft Office.

The lab also mentioned different techniques used in the attacks which are given below –

  • Zero day techniques in which attackers used Adobe Flash to launch action script virtual machine (ASVM) attacks.
  • Action script spray facilitates the use of return-oriented programming (ROP), which allows attackers to execute malicious code in the presence of security defenses

“This technique leverages the way dense arrays are allocated in memory,” wrote Bromium researchers. “If a vulnerability allows an attacker to control the size of a vector, they could make it as big as the whole memory space and then search for the necessary API calls and ROP gadgets.”

“Traditional heap spray was supposed to deal with early address randomization techniques implemented in various operating systems. Nowadays defenses are much more sophisticated. Malicious code must ‘know’ addresses of crucial libraries and API functions in order to execute,” said Vadim Kotov, Bromium’s senior security researcher. “Actionscript spray provides this ‘knowledge,’ while its ancestor doesn’t even address this issue.”

“Action heap spray — as well as traditional heap spray — is merely an instrument to exploit security vulnerabilities,” Kotov said. “If you want to reduce the probability of being compromised, you need to have reasonable patching policy and invest in protection software.”

Get your personal as well as office laptops encrypted by Alertsec

Unencrypted laptops present a major risk of data loss. 80% of information theft is due to lost or stolen laptops and other equipment. About 50% of network intrusions are performed with credentials gathered from lost or stolen devices. The penalties for a data breach are severe not only in terms of the monetary fines imposed on the organization, but also the potential loss of trust from customers and suppliers. Encryption software greatly enhances the security of your organization’s data as the information is not compromised if a laptop is lost or stolen.

Alertsec Xpress is the full disk encryption service that delivers a mobile data protection system for all information stored on laptops used throughout your organization.

Two men stole an unencrypted laptop

July 25th, 2014

Self Regional Healthcare of Greenwood, S.C. is affected by data breach when two men stole laptop during memorial weekend. It was not clear how many patients were affected by this incident. As per the data, Self regional Healthcare serves around 250,000 patients.

Self regional has notified South Carolina Department of Health. According to reports the patients affected stands around 500 and the records included patients’ names, Social Security numbers, driver’s license numbers, treating physician names, insurance policy numbers, patient account numbers, service dates, diagnosis/procedure information, payment card information, financial account information, and possibly addresses.

Self Regional posted a notice on its website, with comment from President and CEO Jim Pfeiffer

Self Regional takes the security of our patients’ personal information very seriously . . . We retained third-party computer forensic experts to assist with the investigation of this incident, even though the intruders admitted their actions to law enforcement and claimed never to have accessed the laptop. Because we do not have the laptop in our possession, Self Regional must assume there is a possibility that someone may have accessed certain patients’ protected health information.

The two thieves were caught later and one told to the police during the briefing that laptop was thrown in the lake which authorities failed to trace. The act of thief appears to be general theft and not targeted attack for information contained on the laptop. Laptop was unencrypted and pose a threat for the patient’s whose information was present on the laptop.

Get your personal as well as office laptops encrypted by Alertsec

Unencrypted laptops present a major risk of data loss. 80% of information theft is due to lost or stolen laptops and other equipment. About 50% of network intrusions are performed with credentials gathered from lost or stolen devices. The penalties for a data breach are severe not only in terms of the monetary fines imposed on the organization, but also the potential loss of trust from customers and suppliers. Encryption software greatly enhances the security of your organization’s data as the information is not compromised if a laptop is lost or stolen.

Alertsec Xpress is the full disk encryption service that delivers a mobile data protection system for all information stored on laptops used throughout your organization.

Get your personal as well as office laptops encrypted by Alertsec

Unencrypted laptops present a major risk of data loss. 80% of information theft is due to lost or stolen laptops and other equipment. About 50% of network intrusions are performed with credentials gathered from lost or stolen devices. The penalties for a data breach are severe not only in terms of the monetary fines imposed on the organization, but also the potential loss of trust from customers and suppliers. Encryption software greatly enhances the security of your organization’s data as the information is not compromised if a laptop is lost or stolen.

Alertsec Xpress is the full disk encryption service that delivers a mobile data protection system for all information stored on laptops used throughout your organization.

– See more at: http://blog.alertsec.com/#sthash.EXcVYngp.dpuf

What is Use-After-Free Memory Risk?

July 19th, 2014

Recent updates from the Microsoft, Google or Mozilla shows use-after-free memory errors. Attackers take advantage of vulnerabilities in allocated memory and inject virus or arbitrary code to extract information.

“It does take a lot of knowledge and sophistication,” Karl Sigler, manager, SpiderLabs Threat Intelligence at Trustwave said. “But of course it only takes one researcher to make the discovery, and then everyone else can just copy the research. We’re seeing more use-after-free memory attacks than we ever have before,”

Evolution of attacker methods

It’s not that easy to hack free memory space and install arbitrary software. It requires certain level of sophistication.

“It can take some ninja-fu, it’s not brain dead easy,” Sigler said.

As said earlier, one research to exploit leads to many attacks using same techniques. Researchers make vulnerability exploitable using a technique known as return-oriented programming (ROP).

“ROP has become the method of getting executable code onto the stack,” Stigler said. “ROP chains hop through memory looking for executable pieces of code they can chain through and eventually find a method of getting to run.”

How to reduce the risk

There are ways suggested to stop the attacks as given below –

  •  A Web application firewall (WAF) can be used in some cases to provide a network-layer protection.
  • Microsoft recommends the use of its Enhanced Mitigation Experience Toolkit (EMET) as a technology.
  • Application developers should strive to build better security into their apps.

“Developers should understand what their code is actually using in memory,” Sigler said. “If the program is freeing memory and still flagging it as being able to be used, the program should be able to control what the memory is used for. That would eliminate a lot of the vulnerabilities that attackers have.”

Get your personal as well as office laptops encrypted by Alertsec

Unencrypted laptops present a major risk of data loss. 80% of information theft is due to lost or stolen laptops and other equipment. About 50% of network intrusions are performed with credentials gathered from lost or stolen devices. The penalties for a data breach are severe not only in terms of the monetary fines imposed on the organization, but also the potential loss of trust from customers and suppliers. Encryption software greatly enhances the security of your organization’s data as the information is not compromised if a laptop is lost or stolen.

Alertsec Xpress is the full disk encryption service that delivers a mobile data protection system for all information stored on laptops used throughout your organization.

 

Unresolved Network Events

July 12th, 2014

Survey was conducted for security issues by Emulex and the result shows that 73 percent of IT staff has unresolved network events.

“An unresolved network event is one in which the root cause has not been established and therefore the risk of reoccurrence has not been mediated,” Matt Walmsley, senior marketing manager at Emulex division Endace, told SC Magazine. “These events are still unresolved because these IT pros do not have access to the right post-event forensics tools.”

Key highlights of survey are given as below –

  • Eighty-seven percent of respondents mentioned that they had reported the root cause of a network or security issue to their management but didn’t have the necessary information required to be completely accurate in their assessment.
  • Thirty nine percent mentioned that it occurred at least a few times.
  • Forty five percent of IT staff mentioned that they monitor network and application performance manually instead of using network monitoring tools
  • Eighty three percent said there has been an increase in the number of security events they’ve investigated in the past year
  • Eight one percent of security operations role mentioned their organization has experienced a network security breach.
  • Twenty-seven percent of network breaches were found through manual searches and user reporting without the use of alerting tools.
  • Seventy percent of network operations role have experienced a critical network event that took at least one full business day to diagnose.
  • More than half of U.S. counterparts said network outages or performance degradations cost their organizations more than half a million dollars in revenue per hour.

“IT is facing new challenges related to the growing use of software-defined networking, virtualization and higher performing networks, as well as increasingly more sophisticated attacks on company IT assets,” Emulex senior vice president of marketing Shaun Walsh said in a statement.

Alertsec strengthens security

Alertsec has created a web based encryption service that radically simplifies deployment and management of PC encryption by using industry leading Check Point Full Disk Encryption (former Pointsec) software.

Organizations, especially corporate giants, have to have an information security policy in place that proves they have taken necessary steps and measures to safeguard the information they gathered. If these policies are not adhered to, the regulators may prosecute.

Alertsec Xpress is used by organizations that have recognized the need to protect their information. Customers range from single-user sole traders and consultants to multinational companies with a large number of offices around the globe. Over 4 million users worldwide use Alertsec Xpress’s Check Point Full Disk Encryption.

St. Joseph Health’s patients’ data stolen

July 10th, 2014

St. Joseph recently took over Regional Medical Group’s imaging center and recent data breach shows example of what can happen after transition. Total of 33,702 patients were affected by this breach. A thumb drive was stolen from employee’s locker which was not locked during the incident. Information related to Encryption status of the thumb drive was not available.

Affected data due to breach includes patient names, gender, medical record numbers, date of birth, date and time of service and X-ray details. Affected patients were treated with X-ray services. The data was restricted to X-rays only. No other imaging exams — such as mammograms or MRIs — were included on the drive.

The stolen thumb drive did not contain information on specific illness or patient diagnoses nor did it include any patient financial information, including insurance data or Social Security numbers.

“We take our obligation to protect our patients’ privacy very seriously,” said Todd Salnas, president of St. Joseph Health in Sonoma County, to the Democrat. “We apologize to those patients affected and have already implemented a number of security measures and other protocols so that this doesn’t happen again.”

Salnas also added that St. Joseph would be putting new procedures in place to boost physical security, such as using new security personnel, improving employee awareness and implementing a new alarm system.

“We are in the process of standardizing the records from Redwood Regional Medical Group to St. Joseph,” said Salnas. “Not only the data but procedures and policies, which we’re still in the process of completing.”

 

Get your personal as well as office laptops encrypted by Alertsec

Unencrypted laptops present a major risk of data loss. 80% of information theft is due to lost or stolen laptops and other equipment. About 50% of network intrusions are performed with credentials gathered from lost or stolen devices. The penalties for a data breach are severe not only in terms of the monetary fines imposed on the organization, but also the potential loss of trust from customers and suppliers. Encryption software greatly enhances the security of your organization’s data as the information is not compromised if a laptop is lost or stolen.

Alertsec Xpress is the full disk encryption service that delivers a mobile data protection system for all information stored on laptops used throughout your organization.

Montana Health Department hacked

July 8th, 2014

Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services is notifying public program clients and employees about data breach due to recent incident of server hacking. Montana hired an investigator and confirmed that their server was inappropriately accessed. The server had sensitive information which included state public assistance data such as food stamps, welfare payments, Medicaid, home heating aid and child-care assistance, birth records and some state employee information. It was also found out that there may have been clients’ names, addresses, birth dates, Social Security numbers and health records.

As protected health information (PHI) was involved in this breach, Montana may initiate conversation with the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). Montana’s state CIO, Ron Baldwin, told the Gazette that this was a first-time breach and that an outsider found a software vulnerability prior to the department being able to patch it, leading to the server hack. “This is not unique to Montana, it’s not unique to state government,” he said. “All states, all major businesses are experiencing these (attempts) every day, every month, every year … and they come from all over the world.”

Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services director Richard Opper suggested that the hackers may have been involved with trading Bitcoins in some form. “Out of an abundance of caution, we are taking the necessary steps to reach out to those whose information may have been stored in the server,” he said to the Gazette. “DPHHS is committed to answering questions clients and employees may have, and to help them take advantage of services we are offering.”

 

Alertsec strengthens security

Alertsec has created a web based encryption service that radically simplifies deployment and management of PC encryption by using industry leading Check Point Full Disk Encryption (former Pointsec) software.

Organizations, especially corporate giants, have to have an information security policy in place that proves they have taken necessary steps and measures to safeguard the information they gathered. If these policies are not adhered to, the regulators may prosecute.

Alertsec Xpress is used by organizations that have recognized the need to protect their information. Customers range from single-user sole traders and consultants to multinational companies with a large number of offices around the globe. Over 4 million users worldwide use Alertsec Xpress’s Check Point Full Disk Encryption.

Indianapolis hospital sent letters with patient information

July 6th, 2014

St. Vincent Breast Center of Indianapolis sent letters with patient’s information to the wrong addresses. The breach has caused St. Vincent to send alert to around 63,000 patients. Incident came to notice, when wrong recipients of the letters began calling hospital about the breach. Letters contained printed information which includes patient names, addresses and some scheduled appointments.

According to the St. Vincent there was no financial data or Social Security numbers involved in the incident. Hospital destroyed the letters which were sent by the patients. But the number of sent letter remains unknown.

“We value the privacy and security of patient information, and regret this mailing error,” Rex McKinney, privacy officer for St. Vincent Indianapolis Hospital, said to wishtv.com. “It is our priority to support those who have been affected and make the necessary changes to our patient mailing process to avoid future occurrences. We sincerely apologize for any inconveniences resulting from this unfortunate incident.” McKinney added that the organization will implement new patient information mailing strategies going forward.

Statement on St. Vincent Breast Center website includes:

Please be assured that the Center is taking steps to mitigate this incident by notifying affected individuals through this substitute notice, media notice, and destroying all letters that have been returned. The Center is also evaluating and making changes to its patient mailing processes internally and with external vendors to avoid an incident of this nature in the future.

Alertsec strengthens security

Alertsec has created a web based encryption service that radically simplifies deployment and management of PC encryption by using industry leading Check Point Full Disk Encryption (former Pointsec) software.

Organizations, especially corporate giants, have to have an information security policy in place that proves they have taken necessary steps and measures to safeguard the information they gathered. If these policies are not adhered to, the regulators may prosecute.

Alertsec Xpress is used by organizations that have recognized the need to protect their information. Customers range from single-user sole traders and consultants to multinational companies with a large number of offices around the globe. Over 4 million users worldwide use Alertsec Xpress’s Check Point Full Disk Encryption.