Servers

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.

Breach count reaches to 1.3 million for Montana DPHHS

June 22nd, 2014

(DPHHS) have faced one of the largest HIPAA breaches in terms of number of affected patients. Total count stands at 1.3 million due to server hack of DPHHS. Information is not available whether the hackers used patient data maliciously or accessed it while on the server.

According to Montana, Server has the sensitive information which has patient demographic information, including names, addresses, dates of birth, and Social Security numbers. Also some records may have information regarding DPHHS services clients applied for and/or received, such as health assessments, diagnoses, treatment, health condition, prescriptions, and insurance. The incident extent came to light when DPHSS hired an investigator to know extent of breach.

“Out of an abundance of caution, we are notifying those whose personal information could have been on the server,” said DPHHS Director Richard Opper. “Again, we have no reports, nor do we have any evidence that anyone’s information was used in any way, or even accessed.”

Earlier Unknown computer hackers used malware to gain entry to a DPHHS server containing client and agency employee personal information. According to the reports, this incident should not impact DPHHS services as none of the information contained on the server was lost and has complete back-up of the information.

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.

Mobile devices malware detection

May 9th, 2013

A new method for identification of mobile devices malware, which usually are not detected by the common detection methods, and uses advanced methods of machine learning.

Cellular phones security is an intensively studied area by security companies and research institutions around the world since the release of G1 devices Android based operating system in 2009.

Recently discovered a new and sophisticated type of malware named Dropdialer, which was distributed to the Google apps store. This malware is installed as legitimate software by the user. Hostile code actually installed later using the ability of the “Automatic Update”, which is used by the software and allows it to “pull” independent software updates from a remote server. In this way malware can spread to a large number of devices without being detected. Retrieving hostile code can occur at a future random or fixed time, or as a command received from a remote server. This capability can be implemented in any malicious application.

The standard Antivirus software usually cannot detect this type of malware (self-updating malware) because the original app is completely innocent and therefore can escape from any static analysis method (code analysis without execution) or dynamic analysis (monitoring software at runtime). The difficulty in identifying such malware is also due to the fact that the ability to self-update serves application developers’ legitimate needs such as application version upgrade, adding stages in different games, bug fixes, and more.

The new method for self-updating malware identification uses advanced algorithms of machine learning, which learns the normal behavior of applications, thus allow detecting abnormal behavior in real time which may indicate that the app is malicious. An analysis of mobile smart phone malicious apps shows that about 70% focus on stealing sensitive information. Therefore, in this study we use the characteristics of a network to study the behavior of applications because they can point to information leakage.

The use of a limited number of characteristics (network characteristics) and the machine-learning algorithm allows to perform the learning behavior of applications, the monitoring and identification on the device itself, which is of course resources limited (i.e. battery).

Examples of properties which are used for studying the behavior of applications are: number of bytes sent or received in different time windows, such as 5 minutes or time since the app was active and connected to the net, etc.

The degree of behavior of an application is performed by using an algorithm based on a technique called Cross-Feature Analysis, which “learns” the relationship of each property relative to other properties of a normal behavior. In the monitoring phase, each sample is checked against each feature and whether the same relationship with other properties is maintained. In other words, we calculate each characteristic probability that it is normal given the values of other viewed properties, and take into consideration the probabilities along the value that represents the distance from normal behavior.

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.

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