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IT Security News Blast – 8-7-2020

US government offers $10 million reward for information on cyber interference in elections

A statement from the US Department of State announced that it is seeking the identification or location of any foreign adversary looking to interfere with federal, state, or local elections by aiding or abetting a violation of computer fraud and abuse laws. The government specifically pointed to section 1030 of title 18, which encompasses fraud and related activity in connection with computers. [...] The incentive is being offered through the ‘Rewards for Justice’ program, administered by the Diplomatic Security Service.


COVID-19-themed cyber attacks becoming more advanced and sophisticated: Interpol

Instances of misinformation and fake news included conspiracy theories, illegal trade of fraudulent medical commodities, as well as 'too good to be true' offers such as free food, special benefits, or large discounts in supermarkets. A majority of emails and text messages that disseminated misinformation or fake news concealed malware or malicious domains.


How the US Can Prevent the Next ‘Cyber 9/11’

Still, rising from all these digital threats is the potential for better policy and outcomes. “You see cyber now come from the world of the techies into the world of geopolitics,” says Sue Gordon, who most recently served as principal deputy director of national intelligence, the second-highest-ranking intelligence official in the US, before resigning in August 2019. In response to these threats, the government, private sector, and civil society are getting “much more mature about the kinds of tools we use against them.”


Black Hat: Hackers can remotely hijack enterprise, healthcare Temi robots

The robot in question is Robotemi Global's Temi, a "personal robot" that uses a range of sensors, artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) technologies, as well as modern voice activation and mobile connectivity to perform functions including personal assistance tasks, answering Internet queries, and facilitating remote video calls. [...] "Together, these vulnerabilities could be used by a malicious actor to spy on Temi's video calls, intercept calls intended for another user, and even remotely operate Temi -- all with zero authentication," the researchers say.


British Dental Association takes systems offline following ‘sophisticated cyber-attack’

The BDA says it has yet to establish which information was compromised, but that exfiltrated data appeared to be limited to “a very small snapshot” of data stored on its servers. The BDA’s website is still offline seven days on from the attack, which occurred on July 30. [...] “Our IT experts have been working to rebuild our systems since the incident occurred and this is progressing well.”


Ohio hospital's EHR hit by ransomware attack, exposes 7,000+ patients' info

In the July 31 data breach notice, the hospital said that in June it discovered a ransomware attack on the EHR system of Cambridge-based OB GYN Specialists of Southeastern Ohio, which MVHC acquired in 2018. A cybersecurity firm determined that three OB GYN Specialists' systems, including its EHR server that contained patient records from 2012-17, were hit by ransomware on May 31. Patient names, dates of birth, Social Security numbers, diagnoses, conditions, lab results and insurance claim details were exposed.


Hacked Data Broker Accounts Fueled Phony COVID Loans, Unemployment Claims

The source, who asked not to be identified in this story, said he’s been monitoring the group’s communications for several weeks and sharing the information with state and federal authorities in a bid to disrupt their fraudulent activity. The source said the group appears to consist of several hundred individuals who collectively have stolen tens of millions of dollars from U.S. state and federal treasuries via phony loan applications with the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) and through fraudulent unemployment insurance claims made against several states.


Increasingly Popular Industrial Robots Are Vulnerable to Cyber Attacks, Report Warns

[According] to a new report entitled “Rogue Automation,” some robots have flaws that could make them vulnerable to advanced hackers, who could steal data or alter a robot’s movements remotely, like a scene out of science fiction. “Attacks on industrial environments in these sectors could have serious consequences, including operational failure, physical damage, environmental harm and injury or loss of life[.]”


US financial regulator fines Capital One $80 million over data breach

The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, a bureau within the Department of Treasury, announced the penalty over the bank’s failure “to establish effective risk assessment processes” before moving “significant information technology operations” to the cloud. OCC also flagged the bank for not correcting “deficiencies in a timely manner.” The bank also is required to improve its data security practices and update its approach to risk management as part of a consent decree with the OCC.


#BHUSA: How Public Standards Help to Enable Financial Fraud

The way that FASTCash works is it is injected by the attackers into a payment switch and fraudulently approves what appear to be legitimate ISO 8583 messages from the attackers sitting at bank machines, allowing them to withdraw money. During his presentation, Perlow described how ISO 8583 messages are constructed in a way that the FASTCash attackers have been able to emulate.


‘Time Is of the Essence:’ Experts Warn Election Officials Need More Money Now

House Homeland Security Chair Bennie Thompson warned against major changes to state and local election systems in the Cybersecurity, Infrastructure Protection and Innovation subcommittee hearing. “It is absolutely critical that we make the current system work. Any finagling with that system puts the process in jeopardy,” the Mississippi Democrat said.


Why create more cyber units when talent might be lacking, wonders senator

Lawmakers and a congressionally mandated commission agree that the Pentagon’s cyber operations force will likely need to grow to meet burgeoning threats. But one senator is concerned that if the Defense Department can’t attract and retain the necessary talent, then creating more cyber teams will be an exercise in futility.


US Exposes Russian Tactics to Sway American Elections

“Beijing has also taken a page from Russia’s playbook, leveraging conspiracy websites and proxy channels to push disinformation and propaganda with the goal of undermining democratic norms and institutions,” Lea Gabrielle, special envoy and coordinator of the GEC, said during a phone briefing. The threat of both China’s and Russia’s disinformation is real and it’s dangerous,” she added.


Inside China's cyber war room: How PLA is plotting global attacks

The border tensions between India and China has triggered a flurry of intelligence about Chinese indulging in cyber warfare and the latest is the information on a secret People's Liberation Army unit targeting India's security and defence related information. [...] Sources say the involvement of Chinese PLA in cyber warfare is alarming as it's not restricted to espionage but aims to target critical infrastructure during a conflict.


Insecure satellite Internet is threatening ship and plane safety

What he found is concerning. A small sampling of the things he observed include:

A Chinese airliner receiving unencrypted navigational information and potentially avionics data. Equally worrisome, that data came from the same connection passengers used to send email and browse webpages, raising the possibility of hacks from passengers.

A system administrator logging in to a wind turbine in southern France, some 600 kilometers away from Pavur, and in the process exposing a session cookie used for authentication.


Lesson learned: Failure to patch led to password leak of 900 VPN enterprise servers

“A CVE was discovered and announced in August 2019, and here we are almost 12 months later and still, 677 enterprise devices were still unpatched exposing VPN open ports and vulnerabilities and allowing access with only a user name and password,” said Jason Garbis, senior vice president, products at AppGate. “All bad. No one would ever think to design a new system with these three flaws today.”


Black Hat 2020: Mercedes-Benz E-Series Rife with 19 Bugs

The Mercedes-Benz E-Class went to market riddled with 19 vulnerabilities, which, among other things, could enable attackers to remotely unlock the car door and start its engine. Researchers say the flaws, detailed at Black Hat USA on Thursday, potentially impacted over 2 million Mercedes-Benz connected cars before they were fixed.


Think carefully about cyber insurance, says NCSC. But don't worry about buying off ransomware crooks

NCSC advice on cyber insurance in general is aimed at non-techies and managers. It advises higher-ups that they should consult with the people who “manage and run your IT and security systems” before signing a contract. Techies are, unsurprisingly, the best people to decipher the “cyber security jargon” that Reg readers know and love.


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