Monthly Archives: April 2023

How Security Assessments Help Prevent Breaches

Findings.co explores how security assessments can help prevent data breaches

Data breaches can cause significant damage to a business, both in terms of financial losses and damage to reputation. In recent years, the number of data breaches reported has increased dramatically, with cybercriminals using increasingly sophisticated methods to gain access to sensitive data. One of the most effective ways to prevent data breaches is by conducting regular security assessments.

A security assessment is a comprehensive evaluation of an organization’s security posture. It involves reviewing all aspects of the organization’s security, including policies, procedures, infrastructure, and personnel. The goal of a security assessment is to identify vulnerabilities and weaknesses that could be exploited by an attacker. There are many types of security assessments, including vulnerability assessments, penetration testing, and risk assessments. Each of these assessments has its own unique methodology, but they all aim to achieve the same goal: to identify vulnerabilities and weaknesses in an organization’s security.

By conducting a security assessment, organizations can identify vulnerabilities before they are exploited by attackers. This allows the organization to take proactive steps to mitigate the risk of a data breach. For example, if a security assessment identifies that the organization’s password policies are weak, the organization can implement stronger policies to prevent unauthorized access.

Another benefit of conducting a security assessment is that it can help organizations comply with industry and regulatory requirements. Many industries have specific regulations that organizations must follow to protect sensitive data. By conducting a security assessment, organizations can ensure that they are meeting these requirements and avoid costly fines and legal action.

Additionally, conducting a security assessment can help organizations identify areas where they need to invest in additional security measures. For example, if a security assessment reveals that the organization’s network infrastructure is outdated, the organization can allocate resources to upgrade the infrastructure to better protect against attacks.

It’s important to note that conducting a security assessment is not a one-time event. Security threats and vulnerabilities are constantly evolving, and organizations must regularly review and update their security measures to stay ahead of attackers.

Why are Security Assessments Important?

Security assessments are essential for preventing data breaches because they help organizations identify vulnerabilities before they are exploited by attackers. By conducting a security assessment, organizations can take proactive steps to mitigate the risk of a data breach.

For example, a vulnerability assessment can identify vulnerabilities in an organization’s software or hardware systems. These vulnerabilities could be used by an attacker to gain unauthorized access to sensitive data. By identifying these vulnerabilities, organizations can take steps to patch or fix them before an attacker can exploit them.

Similarly, a penetration test can simulate an attack on an organization’s systems to identify weaknesses that could be exploited by an attacker. By conducting a penetration test, organizations can identify vulnerabilities and weaknesses in their systems and take steps to improve their security.

Security assessments are also important for helping organizations comply with industry and regulatory requirements. Many industries have specific regulations that organizations must follow to protect sensitive data. By conducting a security assessment, organizations can ensure that they are meeting these requirements and avoid costly fines and legal action.

Examples of Security Assessments in Action:

Now that we’ve explored why security assessments are important, let’s take a look at some examples of how they’ve helped organizations prevent data breaches.breaches.

 

Example 1: Target Data Breach

In 2013, retail giant Target suffered a massive data breach that compromised the personal and financial information of millions of customers. The breach was caused by a vulnerability in Target’s payment system that was exploited by attackers.

Following the breach, Target conducted a security assessment to identify the root cause of the attack and prevent future breaches. The assessment identified a number of vulnerabilities in Target’s systems, including weaknesses in the company’s password policies and network segmentation.

Based on the findings of the assessment, Target implemented a number of security measures, including two-factor authentication for remote access, improved password policies, and increased network segmentation. These measures helped to prevent future data breaches at Target.

Example 2: Equifax Data Breach

In 2017, credit reporting agency Equifax suffered a data breach that exposed the personal and financial information of over 140 million customers. The breach was caused by a vulnerability in Equifax’s web application software that was exploited by attackers.

Following the breach, Equifax conducted a security assessment to identify the root cause of the attack and prevent future breaches. The assessment identified a number of vulnerabilities in Equifax’s systems, including weaknesses in the company’s patch management processes and web application security.

Based on the findings of the assessment, Equifax implemented a number of security measures, including improved patch management processes, enhanced web application security, and increased employee training on cybersecurity best practices. These measures helped to prevent future data breaches at Equifax.

Example 3: University of Virginia Data Breach

In 2014, the University of Virginia suffered a data breach that exposed the personal and financial information of over 18,000 current and former employees. The breach was caused by a vulnerability in the university’s payroll system that was exploited by attackers.

Following the breach, the university conducted a security assessment to identify the root cause of the attack and prevent future breaches. The assessment identified a number of vulnerabilities in the university’s systems, including weaknesses in the company’s patch management processes, access controls, and network security.

Based on the findings of the assessment, the university implemented a number of security measures, including improved patch management processes, enhanced access controls, and increased network security. The university also provided additional cybersecurity training to its employees to help prevent future data breaches.

As we’ve seen in these examples, security assessments can be a powerful tool for preventing data breaches. By identifying vulnerabilities and weaknesses in an organization’s security posture, organizations can take proactive steps to mitigate the risk of a data breach. This can include implementing security measures such as two-factor authentication, improved password policies, enhanced patch management processes, and increased employee training on cybersecurity best practices.

In addition to preventing data breaches, security assessments can also help organizations comply with industry and regulatory requirements. By conducting a security assessment, organizations can ensure that they are meeting these requirements and avoid costly fines and legal action.

Ultimately, conducting regular security assessments is essential for any organization that wants to protect its sensitive data from cybercriminals. By taking proactive steps to identify and address vulnerabilities, organizations can help prevent data breaches and protect the privacy and security of their customers and employees.

 

 

 

Understanding Edge Computing: Benefits and Challenges

Illustration depicting edge computing technology in network architecture

 

Edge computing is a growing trend in the field of network technology that is changing the way data is processed and analyzed. Instead of relying solely on a centralized server to process data, edge computing brings processing capabilities closer to the source of the data, or the “edge” of the network. This allows for more efficient and effective data processing and analysis, as well as increased performance and reduced latency.

 

Edge computing has become increasingly popular due to the rise of the Internet of Things (IoT) and other connected devices. These devices generate a vast amount of data that needs to be processed and analyzed in real-time, and edge computing provides a way to do this without overburdening centralized servers.

 

In essence, edge computing enables smart apps and IoT sensors to perform real-time functions by addressing three related challenges:

  • Remote device connectivity to a network

  • Slow data processing caused by network or computing limitations

  • Edge devices that create network bandwidth issues

 

By processing data closer to the source (at the edge of the network), edge computing can overcome these challenges and improve efficiency, reduce latency, and enhance the overall performance of the system. This allows for faster and more reliable data processing, making real-time functionality possible.

 

One of the main benefits of edge computing is improved efficiency. By processing data at the edge, devices can perform some of the computing tasks that would otherwise require a more powerful centralized server. This not only reduces the workload on the server but also reduces the amount of data that needs to be transmitted over the network, resulting in faster processing times and lower latency. Microsoft Azure shared a great example of this, writing, “A security camera in a remote warehouse uses AI to identify suspicious activity and only sends that specific data to the main datacenter for immediate processing. So, rather than the camera burdening the network 24 hours per day by constantly transmitting all of its footage, it only sends relevant video clips. This frees up the company’s network bandwidth and compute processing resources for other uses.” 

 

Of course, however, there are several risks associated with edge computing. One of the most significant risks is security. With data being processed and stored at multiple edge devices, it can be more challenging to secure the network against potential attacks. This is especially true when it comes to securing data in transit between edge devices and central servers.

 

Another risk is data privacy. Edge computing involves collecting and processing large amounts of data, which can potentially be used to identify individuals or groups. One of the primary concerns is that edge computing may collect and process personal data, such as personally identifiable information (PII), biometric data, or sensitive information related to health, financial, or other personal matters. This raises concerns about the potential for misuse or unauthorized access to personal information. Another data privacy risk associated with edge computing is the potential for data breaches or cyberattacks. Since edge devices are distributed and may not have the same level of security measures as centralized servers, they may be more vulnerable to attacks. Moreover, edge devices may transmit data over insecure networks or unsecured channels, further increasing the risk of interception or data leakage.

 

Network connectivity is another potential risk. Edge computing relies on stable and fast network connectivity between edge devices and central servers. If the network connection is unreliable or slow, it can negatively impact the performance of the entire system.

 

Compatibility issues can also arise with edge computing. Edge devices may be running different operating systems and software, which can create compatibility issues when it comes to integrating them with other devices and central servers.

 

Finally, managing and maintaining edge devices can be challenging. This includes firmware updates, security patches, and troubleshooting issues. This can be especially problematic in large-scale deployments with many devices spread out over a wide area.

 

Despite these risks, the benefits of edge computing make it an increasingly popular technology for organizations looking to improve their data processing and analysis capabilities. As the technology continues to evolve, it is likely that many of these risks will be mitigated, making edge computing an even more attractive option for businesses and organizations of all sizes. 

 

Noting the security issues is important to prevent detrimental damages to companies. To mitigate these data privacy risks, organizations must implement privacy-by-design principles in their edge computing solutions. This includes conducting privacy impact assessments (PIAs) to identify potential privacy risks and implementing technical and organizational measures to address them. Additionally, companies must ensure that they obtain valid user consent for collecting and processing personal data and that they adhere to data protection regulations. Encryption and other security measures should also be implemented to protect data both in transit and at rest, and data monitoring and auditing processes should be in place to detect and respond to security incidents.

 

 

 

 

The Great Data Breaches: Tales of Cybersecurity Misadventures

Findings.co talks about the decade's biggest breaches from the past decade.

The Great Data Breaches: Tales of Cybersecurity Misadventures

Data breaches are a nightmare of the digital age that have plagued companies and organizations around the world in recent years. With cybercriminals constantly evolving their tactics, no one is safe from the threat of a data breach. While this list can go on and on we’ve narrowed it down to some of the most well known breaches to date.

Let’s take a look at some of the most notable data breaches that have occurred in the past decade, and the lessons we can learn from them!

Equifax: The One That Got Away

In 2017, Equifax, one of the largest credit reporting agencies, suffered a breach that exposed the personal information of 147 million people, including names, birthdates, Social Security numbers, and other sensitive data. Equifax system administrators discovered that attackers had gained unauthorized access via the Internet to the online dispute portal that maintained documents used to resolve consumer disputes. In a statement released, Equifax writes, “The attack vector used in this incident occurred through a vulnerability in Apache Struts (CVE-2017-5638), an open-source application framework that supports the Equifax online dispute portal web application. Based on the company’s investigation, Equifax believes the unauthorized accesses to certain files containing personal information occurred from May 13 through July 30, 2017.”

 

(From SEC filing report)

This was a huge blow for the credit industry, as it exposed flaws in the system that allowed unauthorized access to sensitive personal information. It also highlighted the need for companies to invest in cybersecurity measures to protect their customers’ data.

Yahoo: Twice Bitten, Thrice Shy

In 2013 and 2014, Yahoo experienced two separate data breaches and every user who had a Yahoo account was likely affected by its massive hack. The stolen information included names, email addresses, phone numbers, dates of birth, and security questions and answers. The sheer scale of this breach was unprecedented, and many companies lack the ability to collect and store all network activity that could be used to trace a hacker’s steps, making it difficult to investigate data breaches. This was highlighted by the Yahoo breach in 2013 and 2014, where investigators struggled to follow the hackers’ tracks due to a lack of network activity data.

 

Marriott: A Wake Up Call

In 2018, Marriott International, one of the world’s largest hotel chains, suffered a data breach that exposed the personal information of 500 million customers. In a company statement, Marriott explains that they “learned during the investigation that there had been unauthorized access to the Starwood network since 2014. The company recently discovered that an unauthorized party had copied and encrypted information, and took steps towards removing it. On November 19, 2018, Marriott was able to decrypt the information and determined that the contents were from the Starwood guest reservation database.” The breach at Marriott International exposed the personal information of approximately 500 million customers who made a reservation at a Starwood property. The stolen information included names, mailing addresses, phone numbers, email addresses, passport numbers, Starwood Preferred Guest account information, date of birth, gender, arrival and departure information, reservation date, and communication preferences. Some guests’ payment card numbers and expiration dates were also compromised, but they were encrypted using AES-128. This breach was a wake-up call for the hospitality industry, which has traditionally lagged behind other sectors in cybersecurity. It highlighted the importance of designing security measures into products and services from the outset, rather than bolting them on as an afterthought.

Target: The Target of Cybercrime

In 2013, Target, a major U.S. retailer, experienced a breach that affected 110 million customers. This was one of the earliest and most widely publicized data breaches. Prior to this event, cybersecurity was not given the same level of attention as it is today. The professional practices that many businesses implemented in response to this event likely prevented numerous data breaches from occurring. The breach began when a third-party contractor for Target, Fazio Mechanical Services, fell victim to a spear phishing attack. The hackers then used the stolen credentials to access Target’s corporate network and install malware on Target’s POS devices. Target’s security team received a notice for a generic threat but did not act on the warning. The breach wasn’t detected until three days later, and the US Department of Justice uncovered the scope of the danger on December 12th. The hackers gained access to data including full names, phone numbers, email addresses, payment card numbers, and credit card verification codes. This breach was a turning point in the battle against cybercrime, as it demonstrated that even the biggest companies were vulnerable to attack. It also highlighted the need for companies to invest in cybersecurity measures and to take a proactive approach to threat detection and response.

Capital One: A Capital Mistake

In 2019, Capital One experienced a breach after an outside individual obtained unauthorized access to personal information of about 100 million US customers and 6 million Canadian customers. Capital One explained that they discovered this security incident after the configuration vulnerability was reported to Capital One by an external security researcher through their Responsible Disclosure Program on July 17, 2019. The accessed information included personal information collected from credit card applications, such as names, addresses, and self-reported income, as well as customer status data, credit scores, and transaction data from 23 days in 2016-2018. Additionally, the individual obtained about 140,000 Social Security numbers and 80,000 linked bank account numbers of secured credit card customers. This incident underscores the importance of securing sensitive financial data and having strong cybersecurity policies, including employee training and regular security audits.

eBay: Buy and Beware

In 2014, eBay experienced a massive data breach that affected all 145 million users at that time. The hackers were able to access encrypted passwords and personal details of customers, including names, email addresses, phone numbers, and physical addresses. As a result, eBay was forced to ask all of its users to change their passwords in a surprising turn of events. In many instances, hackers may unscramble encrypted passwords and then use automated softwares that logs into thousands of popular social media sites and banking accounts. At the time, eBay faced extreme criticism for its slow response and poor communication with affected customers following the massive data breach. This incident highlights the importance of swift action and proactive communication with customers in the aftermath of a data breach. Even more importantly, it was a lesson in the importance of password hygiene and the need for companies to implement strong password policies, such as two-factor authentication.

(from eBay’s website)

Anthem: The Healthcare Hack

In 2015, Anthem, one of the largest health insurance companies in the U.S., announced that it suffered a breach that exposed the personal information of 80 million customers, including names, birthdates, Social Security numbers, and other sensitive data. How did it happen? According to the investigative report, the Anthem data breach began in February 2014 when a user in one of the company’s subsidiaries opened a phishing email containing harmful content. This led to the download of malicious files and remote access to the user’s computer, as well as dozens of other systems within the Anthem enterprise, including the company’s data warehouse. The attacker was able to move laterally across Anthem systems and escalate privileges, ultimately compromising at least 50 accounts and 90 systems. This resulted in access to approximately 78.8 million unique user records after querying the data warehouse. This breach was a stark reminder of the importance of securing sensitive healthcare data, which is highly sought after by cybercriminals. It also highlighted the need for companies to invest in cybersecurity measures and to take a proactive approach to threat detection and response.

Microsoft Exchange: The Latest Threat

In 2021, Microsoft Exchange email servers were attacked, affecting 60,000 companies worldwide. The hackers were able to exploit four zero-day vulnerabilities, which allowed them to gain unauthorized access to emails from small businesses to local governments. They took advantage of a few coding errors over three months to take control of vulnerable systems. Once they gained access, they could request data, deploy malware, use backdoors to gain access to other systems, and ultimately take over the servers. Many people assumed that the requests were legitimate because they looked like they came from the Exchange servers themselves. Although Microsoft was able to patch the vulnerabilities, owners of individual servers that didn’t update their systems would still be vulnerable to the exploit. Because the systems weren’t on the cloud, Microsoft couldn’t immediately push a patch to fix the issues. In July 2021, the Biden administration, along with the FBI, accused China of the data breach. Microsoft followed suit and named a Chinese state-sponsored hacker group, Hafnium, as the culprit behind the attack.

 

These are just a few of the largest data breaches in the past decade, and there have been many others affecting a range of industries and types of organizations. The lessons we can learn from these breaches are clear: companies need to take cybersecurity seriously and implement robust security measures to protect their customers’ data. By staying informed and investing in the latest cybersecurity technologies, we can help to prevent the next big data breach.

 

 

The Social and Environmental Impacts of Carbon Footprints

findings discusses the impacts of carbon footprints

The impact of carbon footprints, or the quantity of greenhouse gasses emitted into the atmosphere due to human activity, extends far beyond the environmental realm and has significant social and ecological consequences. Carbon footprints are a direct result of everyday actions like driving cars, using electricity, and consuming animal products. These actions release harmful greenhouse gasses, such as carbon dioxide and methane, which trap heat and exacerbate global warming and climate change. The detrimental effects of carbon footprints are manifold: they are the primary cause of human-induced climate change, contribute to urban air pollution, generate toxic acid rain, contribute acid rain and to coastal and ocean acidification, and accelerate the melting of glaciers and polar ice.

Further, climate change is causing shifts in global precipitation patterns, leading to more frequent and severe droughts and floods in certain regions. This has significant impacts on agriculture, food security, and water availability. In addition, carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere is also absorbed by the ocean, causing it to become more acidic. This can harm marine life and disrupt the ocean’s delicate ecosystem. It’s important to note that acid rain, caused by humans burning fossil fuels, is released into the atmosphere, also damages forests, especially those at higher elevations. The acid deposits rob the soil of essential nutrients such as calcium and cause aluminum to be released in the soil, which makes it hard for trees to take up water. Trees’ leaves and needles are also harmed by acids. As long as fossil fuels continue to be used, the issue of acid rain will persist. Several countries, including China, which have extensively depended on coal for the generation of electricity and production of steel, are currently experiencing the adverse impacts of acid rain. Climate change is causing changes in ecosystems and habitats, which in turn is leading to the loss of species and biodiversity. This has significant implications for human health, food security, and ecological stability.

On the social side, carbon footprints can exacerbate existing inequalities. For example, individuals and communities who do not have access to clean energy sources or who live in areas affected by climate change are disproportionately impacted by the negative effects of carbon emissions. Climate change has resulted in an increase in the frequency and intensity of extreme weather events such as hurricanes, droughts, floods, and wildfires. These events can lead to loss of life, displacement, and economic damage. The communities in these areas are often more vulnerable to extreme weather events, such as floods and droughts, which can lead to displacement, food and water insecurity, and other negative outcomes. Additionally, workers in industries that emit high levels of greenhouse gases may be exposed to health risks and poor working conditions. For example, workers in coal mines or oil refineries may be exposed to hazardous chemicals and gases that can lead to respiratory problems and other health issues.

From an environmental perspective, carbon footprints contribute to global warming and climate change, which can lead to a variety of negative effects. One major impact of climate change is rising sea levels, which can lead to flooding and displacement of coastal communities. Climate change can also lead to more frequent and severe weather events, such as hurricanes, droughts, and wildfires, which can have devastating impacts on communities and ecosystems. Additionally, climate change can lead to loss of biodiversity, as species struggle to adapt to changing temperatures and weather patterns.

It is important to take steps to reduce our carbon footprints in order to mitigate these negative impacts. This can include individual actions such as reducing energy consumption, using public transportation, and eating a plant-based diet, as well as larger-scale systemic changes such as transitioning to renewable energy sources and implementing policies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.In response to all of this, regulations and agreements are being created to combat carbon footprints.

  1. The Paris Agreement: The Paris Agreement is a global climate treaty signed by 197 countries, which aims to limit global warming to below 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels. Signatory countries are required to develop and communicate nationally determined contributions (NDCs) to mitigate their carbon emissions. Companies operating in these countries may also be required to report their carbon emissions and take steps to reduce them.

  2. The European Union Emissions Trading System (EU ETS): The EU ETS is a cap-and-trade system designed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the power and industrial sectors. Companies that operate in the EU and exceed certain emission thresholds are required to participate in the system and purchase allowances for their carbon emissions.

  3. The California Cap-and-Trade Program: California’s cap-and-trade program is a state-level program that sets a cap on carbon emissions from the power and industrial sectors. Companies that exceed certain emission thresholds are required to participate in the program and purchase allowances for their carbon emissions.

Companies need to be compliant with regulations regarding carbon footprints for several reasons:

  1. Legal compliance: In many countries, there are laws and regulations in place that require companies to report their carbon emissions and take steps to reduce them. Failure to comply with these regulations can result in fines, legal action, and damage to the company’s reputation.

  2. Stakeholder pressure: Investors, customers, and other stakeholders are increasingly demanding that companies take action to address their carbon footprints. Failure to do so can result in negative publicity and damage to the company’s brand.

  3. Competitive advantage: Companies that are able to demonstrate their commitment to sustainability and carbon reduction may have a competitive advantage over those that do not. This can be particularly important in industries where environmental concerns are a key factor in consumer purchasing decisions.

  4. Cost savings: Reducing carbon emissions can also result in cost savings for companies. For example, switching to renewable energy sources can reduce energy costs over time, while reducing waste can lead to cost savings in the long run.

  5. Environmental benefits: Finally, reducing carbon emissions has significant environmental benefits, including mitigating the impacts of climate change, protecting natural resources, and promoting sustainable development. By complying with regulations regarding carbon footprints, companies can play a critical role in addressing these global challenges.

By reducing our carbon footprints, we can help to slow the rate of global warming and mitigate the negative impacts of climate change. However, reducing our carbon footprints is not enough. We must also work to address the underlying social inequalities that contribute to and are exacerbated by climate change. This includes addressing issues such as poverty, lack of access to clean energy, and systemic racism and discrimination. By working towards a more just and equitable society, we can create a more sustainable future for all.

In conclusion, by understanding the social and environmental impacts of carbon footprints, we can work towards creating a more sustainable and equitable future for all. By taking action to reduce our carbon footprints and address social inequalities, we can help to mitigate the negative impacts of climate change and create a better world for ourselves and future generations.

March Data Breach Round-Up

findings shares the top breaches that happened in March 2023

As we move forward, it’s becoming increasingly clear that even large corporations aren’t safe from cyber attacks. From Chick-fil-A and Dole Food Company to Acer and Procter & Gamble, the number of companies that have suffered data breaches continues to grow. Today, I’ll delve into some of the latest confirmed data breaches from March, and examine what they could mean for both these businesses and their customers. With personal data security on the line, it’s time to brace yourself for a rollercoaster ride into the realm of cybercrime!

 

  1. Attention all Chick-fil-A lovers! Unfortunately, Chick-fil-A has sent a notice to customers about a data security incident that may have involved their personal information. The company has taken measures to prevent unauthorized activity and engaged a national forensics firm to investigate the issue. Based on their investigation, it was discovered that unauthorized parties launched an automated attack against Chick-fil-A’s website and mobile application between December 18, 2022, and February 12, 2023, using account credentials obtained from a third-party source. The information that may have been involved includes name, email address, Chick-fil-A One membership number, mobile pay number, QR code, masked credit/debit card number, and the amount of Chick-fil-A credit on the account, as well as the month and day of the birthday, phone number, and address if saved to the account. Unauthorized parties were only able to view the last four digits of the payment card number. Chick-fil-A recommends affected customers change their password immediately and choose a strong, unique password. 

 

  1. While we all love fresh produce, it’s important to remember that cybersecurity is vital to ensuring that we can continue to enjoy our favorite fruits and veggies. Fresh produce provider, Dole Food Company, has confirmed that employee information was accessed by threat actors during a February ransomware attack. The number of employees affected was not disclosed, but Dole employs approximately 38,000 people worldwide. The company said the attack was sophisticated, but limited in impact on operations. However, Dole was forced to shut down production plants across North America and was unable to fulfill orders for a week, leading to complaints from customers. In response to the attack, Dole engaged cybersecurity experts and notified law enforcement. The incident has been disclosed in an annual report filed with the US Securities and Exchange Commission. The company very nicely explained the damage that a cyber attack can cause a company. In the report they write, “our information technology networks and systems, some of which rely on third-party service providers, may be vulnerable to service disruptions or system failures due to causes including intentional hacking, security breaches, intrusions, malware, denial of service attacks, phishing, or other cybersecurity attacks, as well as natural disasters, catastrophic events, power outages, or human error or malfeasance. If we are unable to prevent or adequately respond to and resolve these disruptions or failures, our operations may be impacted and any unauthorized access to, or acquisition of, customer, employee, or other confidential information could result in adverse consequences such as reputational damage, premature termination or reduction of existing contracts, reduction of operating revenue, remediation costs, ransomware payments, litigation, and/or penalties under various laws and regulations. Our customers could also refuse to continue to do business with us and prematurely terminate or reduce existing contracts, resulting in a significant reduction of our operating revenue.” This further shows that everyone in the supply chain is ultimately affected by cyber attacks. 

 

  1. The FBI just put the cuffs on the supposed mastermind behind a notorious cybercriminal hub that boasted stolen data from Congress members and countless other individuals. The founder of the BreachForums website, Conor Brian Fitzpatrick, has been arrested and charged with operating a hacking forum and marketplace for cybercriminals. Fitzpatrick, 20, allegedly created BreachForums in March 2022 to buy, sell and trade hacked or stolen data and other contraband, including personally identifying information, bank account details, and social security numbers. According to reports, Fitzpatrick is believed to have played a role as a mediator or intermediary for unlawful deals and personally offered access to legitimate breached databases using a credit-based system run by the online platform. The site’s various sections included “Cracking,” “Leaks,” and “Tutorials.” The FBI and the Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General have conducted a disruption operation that caused BreachForums to go offline. Fitzpatrick’s alleged victims included millions of U.S. citizens and hundreds of U.S. and foreign companies, organizations, and government agencies. Deputy Attorney General Lisa O. Monaco has announced another successful crackdown on the cybercrime underworld, stating that the BreachForums platform – much like its predecessor RaidForums – facilitated the trade of stolen data between hackers and willing buyers. She warns all those involved in shady dealings on the dark web that they should take note: Law enforcement agencies are determined to dismantle these illicit forums and prosecute their administrators in U.S. courts. So if you’re operating in the shadows, you better watch out!

 

  1. On March 20th, Ferrari confirmed that Ferrari S.p.A., its wholly-owned Italian subsidiary, was recently contacted by a threat actor with a ransom demand related to certain client contact details. Twitter user Troy Hunt shared the breach letter sent to customers. Ferrari writes, “we regret to inform you of a cyber incident at Ferrari, where a threat actor was able to access a limited number of systems in our IT environment.” While the company explains that no no payment information or details of Ferrari cars owned or ordered had been stolen, hackers still accessed customers’ names, addresses, email addresses and telephone numbers. Let’s keep on dreaming about our favorite Italian sports cars and hope that Ferrari’s cybersecurity measures are strengthened to prevent any future incidents.

 

  1. After suffering at least two other hacking incidents in 2021, Acer, a Taiwanese electronics and computer manufacturer, has allegedly fallen victim to a ransomware attack, and the ransomware group, REvil, is claiming responsibility. The cybercriminals are demanding a staggering $50 million, the highest ransom on record to date. Acer is well-known for its laptops, desktops, and monitors, and employs around 7,000 people worldwide. The investigation is still ongoing, however Acer did confirm it suffered a breach. “We have recently detected an incident of unauthorized access to one of our document servers for repair technicians. While our investigation is ongoing, there is currently no indication that any consumer data was stored on that server,” the company told PCMag in a statement. In another statement made to BleepingComputer, the company explained, “Acer routinely monitors its IT systems, and most cyberattacks are well defensed. Companies like us are constantly under attack, and we have reported recent abnormal situations observed to the relevant law enforcement and data protection authorities in multiple countries. We have been continuously enhancing our cybersecurity infrastructure to protect business continuity and our information integrity.” It’s extremely important that companies continue to stay up to date with cybersecurity regulations and best practices.  

 

  1. Oh boy, it seems like GoAnywhere just can’t catch a break! This supposedly secure web file transfer solution has been at the center of a string of breaches, and the hits just keep on coming. Let’s take a closer look, shall we?

 

In early February, Fortra – a company that offers GoAnywhere as a secure managed file transfer (MFT) product – announced that it had identified a zero-day vulnerability in the system. This vulnerability could allow attackers to remotely execute code on vulnerable systems, and it was actively being exploited. The news was first reported by journalist Brian Krebs, and it set off a chain reaction of breaches affecting multiple companies.

 

One of the latest victims to come forward is Procter & Gamble, a consumer goods company that confirmed it was impacted by the GoAnywhere incident. The company’s GoAnywhere MFT platform was compromised, and an unauthorized third party was able to obtain some information about P&G employees. Fortunately, financial and social security information was not accessed, but some data was stolen. It’s believed that the Clop ransomware gang may be behind the attack, as they previously claimed to have stolen files from over 130 organizations.

 

And now, Crown Resorts – Australia’s largest gambling and entertainment company – has also fallen victim to the GoAnywhere breaches. Their secure file-sharing server was breached using a zero-day vulnerability, and a ransomware group has claimed to have illegally obtained a limited number of Crown files. Crown Resorts is just the latest in a long list of victims, including CHS, Hatch Bank, Rubrik, the City of Toronto, Hitachi Energy and Saks Fifth Avenue.

 

It’s safe to say that the GoAnywhere breaches have had a huge impact on multiple industries, and it’s important for companies to take extra precautions when it comes to data security. Stay vigilant, folks!



In recent years, cybercrime has affected not only small businesses but also large corporations. This blog post examined several data breaches that occurred in March 2023, including those affecting Chick-fil-A, Dole Food Company, Ferrari, and Acer. These breaches have impacted the personal information of customers and employees, leading to potential risks such as identity theft and fraud. With these incidents in mind, it is crucial for individuals and companies to prioritize cybersecurity measures and remain vigilant against cyber threats. 

 

 

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Best practice self-assessment
1 Findings or 1 BYOC
Assessment response automation
Personalizable, branded security & compliance showcase page
File/evidence repository
OKTA
DKIM
Out-of-the-box TPRM
20 vendors +
20 rating scans
50 vendors +
50 rating scans
Support
Email
Priority via Phone / Email
Internal Workflows (SO/BO)
Onboarding and customization account setup
*Price for every 40 engagements
Automate assessment response and showcase your cybersecurity posture
Supply Chain Risk Monitoring as a Service
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Supply Chain Risk Monitoring as a Service
Join us today
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Thank you for signing up!