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Hacks, Attacks and Breaches: 3/12/2020 to 3/18/2020

Suzanne Gassman

Here’s the latest installment of the Hacks, Attacks and Breaches cybersecurity news update. The Logically team provides top cyber security stories every week to keep you up to date on the latest news headlines on cybersecurity, hacking, computer security, ransomware and other cybersecurity threats.

United States – Whisper

Exploit: Unsecured database.
Whisper: Privacy-focused messaging app.  

Risk to Small Business: Developers overlooked basic security protocols when they left a database containing customer information unprotected by even a password, and hackers pounced. As a result, 900 million files dating back to the company’s launch in 2012 were made available online. Although the company was quick to secure the database, its reactive efforts will do little to assuage the doubts and concerns of its privacy-minded customer base.  

How it Could Affect Your Business: Ransomware attacks not only negatively impact productivity and manufacturing; they also negatively impact growth. Companies like Visser Precision have many high-profile and mission-critical clients. Cybersecurity incidents can put those organizations at risk, making them less likely to do business with companies that have data security issues.

United States – Champaign-Urbana Public Health District

Exploit: Ransomware.
Champaign-Urbana Public Health District: Healthcare service provider.  

Risk to Small Business: A ransomware attack disabled the healthcare provider’s website as concerns over Coronavirus are reaching a fever pitch. While the incident spared the provider’s email accounts, health records, and patient records, it limited the agency’s ability to communicate with patients. The Champaign-Urbana Public Health District has begun using its social media accounts to communicate with the public, and they’ve launched a backup website to replace the disabled page. This is an expensive and potentially harmful incident at a time when quickly communicating information can be a matter of life and death. 

How it Could Affect Your Business: The malware strain that infected the Champaign-Urbana Health District targets enterprises running Windows 10. It’s a reminder that ransomware is on the rise and companies can take simple steps to ensure that malware doesn’t enter their system through outdated software, phishing attacks, or other vulnerabilities.

Canada - EVRAZ

Risk to Small Business: Ransomware.
EVRAZ: Steel manufacturer. 

Risk to Small Business: A ransomware attack crippled the company’s North American operations, including production at its Canadian steel plants. This attack complicates the company’s financial outlook at a time when it is already experiencing a significant drop in share price. Now, EVRAZ will have to grapple with the high cost of recovery, diminished productivity, and making significant improvements to its IT infrastructure – expenses no company needs during a time of worldwide uncertainty.    

How it Could Affect Your Business: Few cyberattacks wreak as much havoc as ransomware attacks. Not only are they one of the most expensive attacks to recover from, but they are uniquely disruptive, creating many obstacles on the road to recovery. Every organization can protect itself from possible ransom attacks and other malware by securing accounts and otherwise safeguarding critical IT.