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Hacks, Attacks and Breaches: 8/26/20 - 9/1/20

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 – Southeastern Pennsylvania Transit Authority

Exploit: Ransomware
Southeastern Pennsylvania Transit Authority: Municipal Transportation Agency 

Risk to Small Business: An attack on its servers brought many operations at the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transit Authority to a screeching halt. Starting Aug. 10, SEPTA was unable to provide real-time updates to riders. At the same time, SEPTA staffers were unable to access basic business applications like email and project files. The agency has already been having difficulty with operations and morale internally, and this has not helped the cause.

How it Could Affect Your Business: Not only are customers inconvenienced, ongoing technology troubles with no definite cause, poor communication on all fronts, and no end in sight doesn’t just impact your customers, it also destroys your employees’ morale, leading to hiring and retention problems as well as malicious insider threats.

United States – Valley Health Systems

Exploit: Ransomware
Valley Health Systems: Healthcare Organization 

Risk to Small Business: Netwalker ransomware appears to be the culprit in a data breach at the University of Utah. The school reportedly paid a ransomware gang $457,059 in order to avoid having student information released online. The hack occurred on July 19, and the cybercriminals gained access to the network of the university’s College of Social and Behavioral Science [CSBS].

How it Could Affect Your Business:  Ransomware is everywhere and it’s most commonly delivered through a phishing email, and this gang has been particularly active lately, especially against healthcare targets as COVID-19 research and treatment data remains a hot commodity in Dark Web markets.

United States – Utah Pathology

Exploit: Unauthorized Access to Data
Utah Pathology: Healthcare Service Provider 

Risk to Small Business: A breach was uncovered when an unknown party attempted to redirect funds from within Utah Pathology, revealing an intrusion that exposed sensitive data and PII including date of birth, gender phone number, mailing address, email address, insurance information including ID and group numbers, and clinical and diagnostic information related to pathology services and for a smaller percentage of patients, their Social Security number.

How it Could Affect Your Business: Health care information is at a premium right now because it is a hot seller on the Dark Web. But a healthcare data breach doesn’t just expose information, it also exposes you to regulatory scrutiny and data privacy violation fines.

United States – Houston United Memorial Medical Center

Exploit: Ransomware
Houston United Memorial Medical Center: Regional Hospital  

Risk to Small Business: Althouth the gang had previously said that they were not attacking medical targets during the pandemic, on or about August 3, Maze ransomware was unleashed on Houston United Memorial Medical Center, and the gang added UMMC to their leak site. Maze posted as proof of the claimed UMMC hack some general files from the center, and one folder containing some identifiable (but unconfirmed) patient records. The hospital has made no announcement regarding the impact or severity of the hack.

How it Could Affect Your Business: Ransomware isn’t going away anytime soon. In fact, updated varieties like double extortion ransomware are entering the scene to cause more damage to businesses that fail to guard against the most likely infection vector: phishing.