Check Point

Kmart Attacked by Hackers Again

June 9th, 2017

Kmart suffered another data breach when its server was attacked by hackers.

“Our Kmart store payment data systems were infected with a form of malicious code that was undetectable by current anti-virus systems and application controls,” a Kmart FAQ on the data breach states. “Once aware of the new malicious code, we quickly removed it and contained the event.”

Sears Holdings owns Kmart. It has not mentioned the number of affected card holder in the statement. Also, the location impact is also not disclosed. But it mentioned that only card information got breached.

“All Kmart stores were EMV ‘Chip and Pin’ technology enabled during the time that the breach had occurred and we believe the exposure to cardholder data that can be used to create counterfeit cards is limited,” the company stated. “There is no evidence that kmart.com or Sears customers were impacted nor that debit PIN numbers were compromised.” 

This is the second breach in three years. Security of the card is crucial and online shops are finding it difficult to secure.

“Consumers should monitor the transactions on any account linked to credit or debit cards they have used in a Kmart store and report any fraudulent transactions to their bank as soon as they are identified,” Capps said. “Given the brisk migration to a chip-and-pin system, we are unlikely to see the stolen credentials used for in-person payments, but they can be used for online transactions. “

 In 2014, Kmart was affected by malware.

 “We will likely find that this attack started with a stolen credential, used to inject the malware into Kmart’s networks,” Nir Polak, CEO of security vendor Exabeam mentioned. “In this modern operating environment, better behavioural analysis — focused on both use of credentials and on the system processes that are spawned from malware — is the best way to detect and shut down these attacks.”

____________________________________________________________________________________________

 Alertsec encryption is powered by Check Point and has the highest security certifications: FIPS 140-2, Common Criteria EAL4 and BITS.

Healthcare Industry Most Affected by Data Breach

June 2nd, 2017

As per reports, healthcare industry was frequently attacked by cyber hackers. Vectra Networks survey suggests that 164 threats were detected per 1,000 host devices. The education industry has 145 threat detections per 1,000 host devices.

“The data shows that healthcare and education are consistently targeted and attackers can easily evade perimeter defences,” the report mentions.

There is a rise of 265 percent in the average number of reconnaissance, lateral movement and exfiltration detections. Also, 333 percent rise was recorded for reconnaissance detections. Finance and technology received below-average threat detection rates mainly due to stronger policies and good response. Media companies has highest rates of exfiltration.

Healthcare industry now has a significant number of IoT.

“These unsecured devices are easy targets for cybercriminals,” the report mentions.

As per Synopsys survey, sixty percent of manufacturers and 49 percent of HDOs said that usage of mobile devices in hospitals and other healthcare organizations increase data risk. But only 17 percent are employing steps to prevent attacks.

“The security of medical devices is truly a life or death issue for both device manufacturers and healthcare delivery organizations,” Ponemon Institute chairman and founder Dr Larry Ponemon said in a statement. “According to the findings of the research, attacks on devices are likely and can put patients at risk. Consequently, it is urgent that the medical device industry makes the security of its devices a high priority.”

Medical devices are difficult to secure as per the eighty percent of respondents.

“These findings underscore the cyber security gaps that the healthcare industry desperately needs to address to safeguard the wellbeing of patients in an increasingly connected and software-driven world,” Synopsys global director of critical systems security Mike Ahmadi said in a statement.

“The industry needs to undergo a fundamental shift, building security into the software development lifecycle and across the software supply chain to ensure medical devices are not only safe but also secure,” Ahmadi added.

____________________________________________________________________________________________

Alertsec’s cloud-based information security service provides an easy and convenient way to protect information on your organization’s laptops and computers.

Firms to spend more on cyber security

April 21st, 2017

As per the recent Duff & Phelps survey, eighty-six percent of financial services firms are planning to spend more time and resources on cyber security in this year. In 2016, only 60 percent said they planned to spend more. Also, thirty-one percent mentioned that the cyber security is the top priority.

“Cyber security is at the top of the agenda for financial services firms today,” Jason Elmer, managing director for compliance and regulatory consulting at Duff & Phelps, said in a statement. “In the wake of high-profile cyber attacks, many are anticipating clearer and more punitive cyber security regulation to be implemented.”

“Firms are proactively looking to strengthen cyber defenses as a result, and this is an opportunity for regulators to collaborate with financial institutions to form new rules,” Elmer added. “What’s also clear is that commercial pressures from investors concerned about the security of their sensitive data will accelerate any attempt to improve cyber security measures.”

There is a high cost involved in the case of a breach. Kaspersky Lab conducted a survey of financial institutions. It mentioned that cost of even a single cyber security incident to a financial institution in the U.S. can rise up to $1,165,000.

Other findings of survey include-

Fifty-three percent believe that their top concerns are phishing/social engineering attacks on customers

Thirty-three believe that attack can happen on local/branch office

Thirty-one percent believe that digital banking services can be the target

“Given the substantial monetary losses from cyber attacks, it is not surprising that financial organizations are looking to increase spending on security,” Kaspersky Lab vice president for enterprise business Veniamin Levtsov said in a statement.

“We believe successful security strategies for financial organizations lie in a more balanced approach to allocating resources — not just spending on compliance, but also investing more in protection from advanced targeted attacks, paying more attention to personal security awareness and getting better insights on the industry-specific threats,” Levtsov added.

____________________________________________________________________________________________

Alertsec helps you comply with HIPAA, PCI and SOX requirements. The implemented encryption is powered by CheckPoint and has the highest security certifications: FIPS 140-2, Common Criteria EAL4 and BITS.

Ransomeware attack at ABCD

April 8th, 2017

ABCD Pediatrics recently suffered ransomware attack. According to the statement, a virus was inserted to gain access to the healthcare organization’s servers. Patient data was encrypted in the process. Facility contacted IT personnel to take all servers offline. It is conducting detailed analysis.

Experts came to conclusion that this particular type of virus has likely not removed the information from the server.  Facility also mentioned that user accounts may have been accessed through it’s network. Affected information includes names, addresses, phone numbers, dates of birth, Social Security numbers, insurance billing information, medical records, and lab reports.

As per the OCR data breach reporting tool, approximately 55,447 patients may have been affected. ABCD has successfully removed the virus from the system. Corrupted data was also removed from its servers. Secure backup of the facility is not affected and thus used to restore all impacted data. It also mentioned that no PHI was lost or destroyed in the incident.

“Also, please note that ABCD never received any ransom demands or other communications from unknown persons,” ABCD stated. “However, ABCD remains concerned because it discovered user logs indicating that computer programs or persons may have been on the server for a limited period of time.”

Facility has upgraded it cyber security monitoring program to stop future incidents. Call centre is setup for the affected patients.

“Patients also can place a fraud alert on their credit files with the three major credit reporting agencies. A fraud alert is a consumer statement added to one’s credit report. The fraud alert signals creditors to take additional steps to verify one’s identity prior to granting credit. This service can make it more difficult for someone to get credit in one’s name, though it may also delay one’s ability to obtain credit while the agency verifies identity.”

___________________________________________________________________________________

Alertsec’s cloud-based information security service provides an easy and convenient way to protect information on your organization’s laptops and computers.

Claims document found in employee storage unit

October 18th, 2016

The Virginia Department of Veterans Services (DVS) recently suffered data breach when veterans claims documents were included in the documents found in a former DVS employee’s storage unit.

According to the facility, exact amount of claims found from the employee’s storage unit was not known. Investigation is going on as technical experts are reviewing all the materials. For now, all the documents appeared to be dated between 2011 and mid-2015. Also, they are  exclusively from the DVS benefits office at McGuire VAMC.

The experts are also working to determine the number of impacted veterans, their identities and the status of their claims. Facility mentioned that the process will take time of one week.

Thomas Herthel, the agency’s director of benefits, told the Richmond Times-Dispatch that 20 to 30 boxes of documents were recovered and included “everything from claims to medical records to miscellaneous correspondence.”

Facility also mentioned that the former employee worked at the agency from January 2012 to August 25, 2015.

“Those claims were reviewed, and DVS contacted affected veterans to advise them and provide assistance,” DVS mentioned. “DVS terminated the employee at that time and has since assigned a new office manager for that location.”

Secretary of Veterans and Defense Affairs John Harvey mentioned that he was deeply concerned about the veterans whose information was mishandled. He also added that his team is working to ensure those veterans receive the necessary benefits.

“At the beginning of this administration, we identified a vulnerability in the Commonwealth’s claims process, and we began implementing a solution to this serious deficiency,” Harvey continued. “Regrettably, our fears were justified, and the danger we were working so hard to address was already a reality. We stand ready to assist any and all veterans impacted, and we are determined to prevent any similar mishandling of information from happening in the future.”

____________________________________________________________________________________________

Alertsec’s cloud-based information security service provides an easy and convenient way to protect information on your organization’s laptops and computers.

Prima Care suffers data breach

August 3rd, 2015

Prima CARE, P.C. recovered a binder containing personal information from the bushes in a parking lot on May 25, 2015. The document contained information of 1,651 patients. Potentially breached information includes names, addresses, phone numbers, dates of birth, medical record numbers, hospital account numbers, insurance numbers, treatment date and certain clinical information. Patients who received care from Prima healthcare providers between 2007 and 2012 were affected.

“The binders were promptly returned after being discovered and are now safely in Prima CARE’s possession,” the statement read. “An investigation determined that the binders were created by a former Prima CARE employee who used the information to track work performance, but had failed to appropriately file or discard the documents following their use.”

Prima mentioned that the improper disposal was done without its knowledge or consent, and was in violation of its practices.

“We take the privacy and security of our patients’ information seriously and have taken steps to mitigate the potential for any harm to result from this incident and to prevent a similar event from occurring in the future,” Prima explained.

According to the statement, Prima Care will review its policies and procedures. It will also review its employee training programs to ensure that a similar incident does not happen again.

“We understand the concerns of patients involved in this incident,” Orlando Health reportedly said in its letter. “The privacy and security of our patients’ health information is a top priority for us. We conducted a thorough investigation of the incident and found no evidence of malice or intent.

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 the 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.

 

Healthcare Data Breaches and Patients

March 23rd, 2015

Healthcare breaches affect hospitals and patients alike, says survey by TransUnion. The organization can face huge penalties from the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) due to data breach. The lost personal information takes time to recover and leads to loss of trust.

According to the recent survey, healthcare data breaches can also push patients away from the affected organization. TransUnion conducted an online survey of around 1200 US adults who received medical care.

“The hours and days immediately following a data breach are crucial for consumers’ perceptions of a healthcare provider,” TransUnion Healthcare President Gerry McCarthy said in a statement. “With the right tools, hospitals and providers can quickly notify consumers of a breach, and change consumer sentiments toward their brand.”

According to the survey-

  • Sixty-five percent of surveyed adults said that they would avoid providers that experience a healthcare data breach
  • Forty-six percent of those surveyed said they expect a notification within one day of the breach
  • Thirty-one percent said that they expect to receive a response or notification within one to three days
  • Seventy-three percent of patients ages 18 to 34 said they were likely to switch healthcare providers after a data breach

“Older consumers may have long-standing loyalties to their current doctors, making them less likely to seek a new health care provider following a data breach,” McCarthy said. “However, younger patients are far more likely to at least consider moving to a new provider if there is a data breach. With more than 80 million millennials recently entering the healthcare market, providers that are not armed with the proper tools to protect and recover from data breaches run the risk of losing potentially long-term customers.”

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.

Sacred Heart Health Systems suffers billing data breach

March 19th, 2015

Florida facility of Sacred Heart Health Systems suffered data breach when its third party vendor experienced email hack. The affected information includes patient names, dates of service, dates of birth, diagnoses and procedures, billing account numbers, total charges, and physician names. Along with above information, 40 patients’ Social Security numbers were also compromised.

“Upon notice of the incident, Sacred Heart, in cooperation with our billing vendor, immediately launched a thorough investigation into the matter,” according to the company statement. “Sacred Heart engaged computer forensics experts who were able to conduct an analysis of what information was included in the affected e-mail account.”

According to the reports, third party billing vendor employee’s e-mail username and password were compromised because of this incident. The Facility is trying to solve the loopholes in the email system to avoid such incidents in the future. It is working with email service provider to evaluate how to enhance its “already robust security program.”

According to the statement, Sacred Heart said that it will offer complimentary identity monitoring and protection services for patients whose Social Security number was affected. As soon as the incident came to notice, the access of employee username and password were immediately shut down.

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.

 

Online application glitch may lead to data breach

March 7th, 2015

A nonprofit organization, Painted Turtle based in California which runs a camp for children with life-threatening diseases and their families free of charge suffered data breach when some personal information may have been exposed because of online application glitch.

The affected information includes names, addresses, Social Security numbers, driver’s license numbers, personal medical information, and employment information.An error in the database of the painted Turtle’s online application server for campers and volunteers caused the data breach. Bank account and credit card information were not present on the server.

“We immediately brought the database offline to prevent anyone from being able to access your records,” Maher wrote. “Also, in an effort to prevent similar data breaches in the future, before bringing the system back online we updated our database’s code to prevent the issue from occurring again.”

According to the statement on the website:

Your information would not have been viewable unless a specific chain of events occurred.

Specifically: (1) you would have had to identify someone as a Reference in your application in 2013–2014, and (2) that person would have had to begin filling out an application as well, and (3) while that person’s application (and your application) was still pending, (4) they would have had to access their pending application and click “show related profiles” and your name. Again, your information would not have been accessible to anyone outside of the persons you listed as References in your application.

We became aware of this issue on January 12, 2015. As soon as this error was brought to our attention, we began taking steps to address and mitigate the risk to you. We immediately brought the database offline to prevent anyone from being able to access your records.

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.

Possible data breach in UMASS

January 27th, 2015

The University of Massachusetts (UMASS) Memorial Medical Group (UMMMG) found out that an employee allegedly accessed patient billing information outside their normal job functions. UMMMG started investigating in depth for  breach issue and and notified local law enforcement.

UMMMG mentioned that this employee no longer works for the company. According to the reports,local law enforcement also discovered an unauthorized individual in possession of copies of patient billing information. Affected information includes patient’s names, addresses, dates of birth, medical record numbers, and Social Security numbers. Other information which may get affected includes phone numbers, email addresses and credit or debit card information used for payments to UMMMG.

According to the UMMMG statement:

We deeply regret this incident and any inconvenience it may cause our patients. To help prevent this type of situation from happening again, UMMMG is further strengthening its privacy and information security program, including identifying additional measures and enhancements to existing safeguards to protect patient information. UMMMG is also re-enforcing staff education regarding our policies and procedures to safeguard patient information.

UMMMG is committed to the security of patient information and we are taking this matter very seriously. We began sending letters to potentially affected patients on January 30, 2015, and have established a dedicated call center to assist patients with any questions.

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.