identity theft

Hackers demand ransom to open disabled door locks

February 12th, 2017

Austria’s four-star, 111-year-old Romantik Seehotel Jagerwirt mentioned that its internal systems were recently breached. Hackers disabled both the hotel’s electronic door locks and the reservation system. The attack against the facility means that the new keys couldn’t be created and also reservations couldn’t be checked or confirmed.

Hotel has to pay 2 Bitcoins (almost $2,000) to get control of the systems back to the hotel.

“The house was totally booked with 180 guests, we had no other choice,” hotel managing director Christoph Brandstaetter told The Local. “Neither police nor insurance help you in this case.”

This was the third cyber attack for the hotel, Brandstaetter said.  It also faced fourth attack as new computers were placed along with new security standards.

“The restoration of our system after the first attack in summer has cost us several thousand Euros,” Brandstaetter said. “We did not get any money from the insurance so far because none of those to blame could be found.”

“We are planning at the next room refurbishment for old-fashioned door locks with real keys,” he said. “Just like 111 years ago at the time of our great-grandfathers.”

As per the recent research survey of nearly 1,000 enterprise IT buyers, half believe that the security is crucial.  Still many are moving towards IOT. Around 90 percent of enterprises plan to increase IoT spending. The research showed that the IoT-related spending will increase by 33 percent.

Other finding include:

Fifty four percent said a lack of trained IoT staff is not an issue for their organizations.

Forty six percent said they’re having difficulty filling IoT-related positions.

“When it comes to IoT adoption, pragmatism rules,” 451 Research director Laura DiDio said in a statement. “The survey data indicates enterprises currently use IoT for practical technology purposes that have an immediate and tangible impact on daily operational business efficiencies, economies of scale and increasing the revenue stream.”

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Alertsec helps you comply with HIPAA, PCI and SOX requirements.

Funding for bug bounty vendor

February 9th, 2017

As per the recent news, one can make money in the rewarding business of security researchers for finding security vulnerabilities. HackerOne published that they have raised a $40M Series C round of funding. Total funding received till date for the San Francisco based company is $74 Million.

Dragoneer Investment Group led new round of funding. It will be used to help HackerOne grow its business.

“HackerOne is at the forefront of the burgeoning bug bounty movement,” Marc Stad, Founder and Managing Partner of Dragoneer Investment Group, said in a statement. “It is borderline silly for a company not to utilize a bug bounty platform given the immediate reduction in security vulnerabilities and the relatively low price point compared to other security options.”

Rice, co-founder and CTO of HackerOne in the video interview mentioned the statistics of business growth. Also, discussed the bugs found by HackerOne’s community of researchers.

Hacking the pentagon program was one of the major successes of HackerOne. The results were positive. It has 1,400 security researchers participating in the program. It also discovered 138 serious vulnerabilities which were fixed quickly. Also, the U.S. Department of Defense also got involved in the program.

HackerOne faces competition from bug bounty vendor Bugcrowd. The rival has raised $24 million in funding to date which includes $15 million Series B round.

“When I started the company in 2013, I spent most of my time explaining what a bug bounty was to people,”Bugcrowd founder and CEO Casey Ellis said. “I don’t have to do that anymore.”

“How we do things today is we prove a concept manually first, apply human intelligence to the problem set and then take the repeatable learnings and codify that,” Ellis said.

The market of buy bounty is competitive but there is demand. Rice also mentioned that more bugs have been found by third party bug bounty companies as compared to vendors.

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

Health Facility suffers email hack

February 7th, 2017

Multicare Health System recently announced data breach due to an email hack. The incident potentially affected 1,200 patients. The Washington health system mentioned that it has no information at this time to believe that any patient personal health information was accessed or misused in any way.

Facility will send the notification to affected patients. Also, patients have been advised to review their Explanation of Benefits statements and to remain vigilant to signs of irregularities related to their health insurance.

MultiCare stated that an unauthorized individual gained access to an employee email account. The information in the emails likely contained personal patient information ranging from addresses to account balances. Facility added that financial information and Social Security numbers were not present on the affected email account.

After the incident the affected email account has been secured. Password has been changed. Facility initiated an investigation into the incident and has provided contact information for patients concerned about the status of their information.

About Multicare:

“MultiCare is a not-for-profit health care organization with more than 10,000 employees and a comprehensive network of services throughout Pierce, South King, Thurston and Kitsap counties.

Facilities heritage dates back to the founding of Tacoma’s first hospital in 1882. Since then, it has grown to meet the ever-changing needs of our region-always focusing on excellence, innovation and patient care.”

When  email account gets hacked one should follow below steps to minimize the damage:

Initial step is to assess the damage done by hackers.

Visit the website of your email provider and try to regain the access.

Change the password by authorised method. Check inbox and trash for any password reset emails, which were not initiated by you.

Scan your computer with anti virus software. Many emails are hacked today to install virus on your computer.

Review your personal settings.

Validate the source  of any program, game and app before downloading it.

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

Cybersecurity breach at Virginia hospital

January 23rd, 2017

Sentara Healthcare announced data breach when one of its third party vendors suffered a cybersecurity breach. The incident affected personal health information. Vascular and thoracic procedures occurring between 2012 and 2015 at a Sentara facility where involved in this breach. Potentially accessed information includes patients’ names, medical records, and Social Security numbers.

“We assure our patients that we are committed to the security of the personal information we maintain and are taking this matter very seriously. To help prevent something like this from happening in the future, the vendor has informed us that it is enhancing its system security. In addition, Sentara continually strengthens policies and procedures and invests in technologies which protect our information technology systems.”

Sentara started the investigation by reaching third party vendor. It also called upon law enforcement. It has started sending and mailing advisory to affected individuals.

Facility suggested that the affected patients should check for any signs of possible fraud. Also, they are advised to review account statements and get free credit reports. Organisation has provided resources to help for future security.

“If you believe you are the victim of identity theft or have reason to believe your personal information has been misused, you should immediately contact the Federal Trade Commission and/or the Attorney General’s office in your state. You can obtain information from these sources about steps an individual can take to avoid identity theft as well as information about fraud alerts and security freezes.  You should also contact your local law enforcement authorities and file a police report.  Obtain a copy of the police report in case you are asked to provide copies to creditors to correct your records.”

Sentara is one of the nation’s top integrated healthcare systems. It works on a not-for-profit system which includes imaging centers, nursing and assisted-living centers, outpatient campuses, physical therapy and rehabilitation services, home health and hospice agency, a 3,800-provider medical staff and four medical groups. It also provides medical transport ambulances and nightingale air ambulance.

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Alertsec is powered by Check Point Endpoint Security products, which are positioned in the leaders quadrant in Gartner’s Magic Quadrant for Mobile Data Protection.

Ransomware attacks

January 13th, 2017

The Susan M. Hughes Center recently announced a data breach due to ransomware attack on its computer system. The incident has potentially affected patients. Facility has immediately launched an investigation. Also, they have reset all passwords and removed the infected server from the system.

A Forensic firm is employed for investigation. It determined that an unknown person accessed server files. The affected information included patient names, telephone numbers, dates of service, types of service or treatment, and amounts paid.

Facility mentioned that there is no evidence of misuse of patient information. Also, sensitive PHI including Social Security numbers or account numbers have not been accessed.

The Hughes Center has started mailing advisory letters to potentially impacted patients. Also, the facility established a call center to answer queries.

“We regret any inconvenience or concern this may have caused our patients. To help prevent something like this from happening in the future we are working with a security firm to enhance the security of our systems.”

Another ransomeware attack involves Summit Reinsurance Services, Inc. who alerted Alliant Health Plans, Inc. of a ransomware attack on its servers.  The affected server contained patient data of more than 1,000 Alliant members.  Facility mentioned that the investigation didn’t provided any evidence of data misuse. Also, Alliant mentioned that its members are at very low risk of data breach consequences.

Affected information included Social Security numbers, health insurance information, and claim-focused medical records.

Summit is updating its policies, procedures and protections for member information to minimise the damage.It also working on other precautionary measures to prevent further incident. Alliant will be continuing encryption to prevent foreign access of sensitive information.

Summit is notifying the affected individuals and also offering one year of identity theft protection to potentially impacted Alliant members.

“As always, Alliant and Summit recommend taking steps to prevent identity theft by monitoring your credit reports for any unusual activity.”

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

PHI available online

January 5th, 2017

Indiana-based Fairbanks Hospital recently mentioned that they suffered data breach. It said that Fairbanks employees had online access to certain current and former patients’ PHI. This access was not meant for all the employees.

“The investigation has determined that this issue existed since at least November of 2013, however we are unable to determine whether the issue existed prior to that time,” the hospital said. “We have now corrected this issue so that only the appropriate Fairbanks personnel has electronic access to files containing patient information.”

As per the OCR data breach reporting tool, incident affected 12,994 individuals. Breached information included names, Social Security numbers, dates of birth, contact information, patient identification numbers, diagnoses, treatment information, health insurance information, and information related to initial admission and appointment scheduling.

Facility mentioned that the affected information will vary by patient. The majority of patients are “only having their name and limited information relating to initial admission and scheduling of appointments impacted.”

Fairbanks said that it is not aware of any actual or attempted misuse of the information. Facility is offering Identity and credit monitoring services.

“We encourage you to remain vigilant against incidents of identity theft and fraud, to review your account statements, and to monitor your credit reports and explanation of benefits forms for suspicious activity,” Fairbanks said. “This also includes reviewing account statements, medical bills, and health insurance statements regularly to ensure that no one has submitted fraudulent medical claims using your name and address.”

Fairbanks mentioned that individuals can place “fraud alert’ at no charge. This step will alert creditors to take additional steps to verify your identity prior to granting credit in your name. As this procedure tells creditors to follow certain rules, it may delay individuals’ ability to obtain credit.

Individuals can also place a security freeze on credit reports. This process will give rights to bureau not to release any information from a consumer’s credit report without the consumer’s written authorization. It may delay, interfere or prevent timely approval. It can affect processing for new loans, credit mortgages, employment, housing, or other services. This service is provided free of cost if individual provides valid police report.

Individuals can also educate themselves for identity theft, fraud alerts, and the steps one can take by contacting the Federal Trade Commission or individuals’ state Attorney General.

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

Email data breach

December 26th, 2016

A phishing email attack on the County of Los Angeles has led to data breach. The incident has affected thousands of individuals. County officials has implemented strict security measures. According to the reports, approximately 100 County employees received credible looking email from the hacker. They provided their usernames and passwords to them.

Some of the employee accounts contained confidential client/patient information. Arrest warrant is issued by the District Attorney Office’s Cyber Investigation Response for Austin Kelvin Onaghinor of Nigeria. The person is charged with nine counts which includes unauthorized computer access and identity theft.

Forensic examination was conducted by county. It also released a statement mentioning that “756,00 individuals were potentially impacted through their contact with the following departments: Assessor, Chief Executive Office, Children and Family Services, Child Support Services, Health Services, Human Resources, Internal Services, Mental Health, Probation, Public Health, Public Library, Public Social Services, and Public Works.”

County also believes that,“there is no evidence that confidential information from any members of the public has been released because of the breach.”

Facility is offering one-year identity monitoring for affected individuals which includes credit monitoring, identity consultation, and identity restoration. During the investigation, county didn’t send notice to affected individuals as instructed by law enforcement.

As per the statement, “We encourage you to remain vigilant against incidents of identity theft and fraud, to review your account statements, and to monitor your credit reports and explanation of benefits forms for suspicious activity. Under U.S. law, you are entitled to one free credit report annually from each of the three major credit reporting bureaus.”

County also mentioned that the minors under the age of eighteen are enrolled in identity consultation and identity restoration services. It has set up call center to address concerns related to potentially affected minors.

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

Ransomware attack

December 18th, 2016

Dr. Melissa D. Selke based in New Jersey recently announced a data breach. Facility website posted a data breach notification letter. The incident may have affected several thousand patients.

Selke found out that her system had been infected with a virus that prohibited access to patient files. The system was restored immediately. After investigation, the possibility of ransomware attack was analyzed. An unauthorized third party introduced the virus onto her system.

Melissa D. Selke, MD, has practiced privately in the area of Hillsborough and Somerset, New Jersey.  Her total experience of the practice is 15 years. She is board certified in Family Medicine.

Dr. Selke has following education qualification –

BA in behavioral biology with honors at the Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland

MD at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas. After graduating

Residency in Family Medicine at Spartanburg Regional Medical Center in Spartanburg, South Carolina.

Affected information in this incident includes patients’ names, addresses, phone numbers, Social Security numbers, treatment and diagnosis information, driver’s license information, health insurance information, treating physician information, medical record number, and treatment date(s).

Dr. Melissa mentioned in her letter that the third-party “viewed or took patient information stored on the server.”

“We take this incident, and patient privacy, very seriously,” Selke said in a statement. “We are taking steps to help prevent another incident of this kind from happening, and continue to review our processes, policies, and procedures that address data privacy.”

As per the OCR data breach reporting tool, incident has affected approximately 4,200 individuals.

While no protection services were offered, Selke encouraged affected individuals “to remain vigilant against incidents of identity theft and fraud.” Individuals should regularly review their financial account statements, credit reports, and explanations of benefits for suspicious activity, the notification letter said.

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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.

Data breach due to billing service provider

November 24th, 2016

A physical therapy provider recently suffered data breach which involves personal information. The security incident may have affected 1,100 patients at Best Health Physical Therapy. secure-data

Best Health is owned by Travis Lombardi, PT, MSPT.  It provides solution and services to meet rehabilitation goals of individuals. It provides solution for orthopedic and sports medicine, neurological, arthritis, fracture and other issues.

Facility came to know that one of the computer from its billing services provider was inappropriately accessed. The person who got access to the accounts writes blogs on internet security. The individual was reportedly looking for data vulnerabilities. He said that he has no intention of misusing any of the accessed information.

Potentially affected information includes names, addresses, dates of birth, insurance information, driver’s license information and health information. Best Health said that there is no evidence that the data was misused. It also highlighted the fact that the vulnerability was not on its computer system. Billing provider’s system failed to secure its system.

“Best Health took immediate steps to investigate and determine the source and extent of any access to our patients’ information,” Best Health said. “The vulnerability was identified and closed by the billing service provider immediately. Updated access controls are now in place to secure the account. Best Health has terminated its relationship with the billing service provider.”

Best Health did not mention the number of affected individuals but as per the OCR data breach reporting tool,  total 1,100 patients’ information were affected.

“Best Health takes the privacy and protection of its patients very seriously and we sincerely apologize for any concern that this may cause. If you are a patient of Best Health and have questions or concerns regarding this matter and/or the protections available to you, please do not hesitate to call.”

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Alertsec Endpoint Encrypt helps you protect your valuable data from falling into the wrong hands by encrypting it at the source.

Data breach due to stolen laptop

November 6th, 2016

MGA Home Healthcare Colorado, Inc. recently suffered data breach  after a laptop was stolen from an employee’s locked vehicle. Facility is notifying 3,119 patients about the incident.

As per the statement, ‘MGA is committed to the privacy of its patients’ and employees’ information and regrets any concerns or inconveniences that this incident may have caused.For further information and assistance, potentially affected individuals may contact MGA’s incident response service provider, AllClear ID.’

Theft reportedly took place sometime between August 19, 2016 and August 20, 2016 while MGA came to know about it on August 20. Facility notified law enforcement.

MGA said that it is conducting a thorough review of the potentially affected records to confirm what information was exposed. Affected information included names, addresses and other demographic information. Information about MGA-provided healthcare services may have also been exposed. for some patients. Also, thirty two patients had their Social Security number or driver’s license number included in the laptop.

“MGA has no evidence that the information on the laptop has been accessed or used,” MGA maintained. “As a precaution, MGA is offering identity theft protection services to affected individuals. MGA is committed to the privacy of its patients’ and employees’ information and regrets any concerns or inconveniences that this incident may have caused.”

Ways to secure your laptop:

Login Password

Provide a login name and password to access your system

Authentication Gestures

Some laptop comes with authentication gestures. It is part of hardware solution which can be utilised to secure your laptop

Encrypted File Systems

First understand what is a file system. Each operating system uses some algorithm to store and retrieve data from your hard disk. Encrypted File Systems layer themselves on top of an existing file system

Encryption

Through this method encrypting individual files or directories manually is carried out. There are various tools available in the market to do so.

Tracing and Tracking

 With the help of tracking feature/companies you can know the location of the laptop. The laptop must be connected to the internet to send the location pointer.

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