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Bandura Cyber Bytes
12-6-2018

With Bandura Cyber Bytes, we take a look back at the most interesting industry news and happenings related to cybersecurity and threat intelligence.

This week we share some holiday-hacking statistics, talk about hospitality and airline vulnerability, emerging geos of cyber crime activity, tackle UK critical infrastructure, as well as cover a few articles on third-party risk: what’s the weakest link in your supply chain or vendors?

Marriott says 500 million Starwood guest records stolen in massive data breach

In what may be the second largest breach behind Yahoo! Marriott announces a data breach that impacted a whopping 500 million Starwood guest records. Apparently, the attackers had been inside the network for four years.

Bandura’s Take: We really didn’t have a “doozy” in 2018 until now. This is a big deal and gained widespread media attention. We’re talking CNN, CNBC, NBC, etc. Several regulators quickly announced investigations. This week should provide more visibility into what happened, as well as the ramifications. At first blush, it illustrates the importance of cyber due diligence with respect to M&A and why cyber insurance is a good idea.

 

FBI Swats Down Massive, Botnet-Fueled Ad Fraud Operation

In a collaborative effort between the FBI, cybersecurity organizations, and tech companies, a global botnet known as 3ve was taken down. At its peak, the botnet did 3 billion daily ad requests and 700,000 active botnet infections and had earned over $34 million in ad view revenue since 2014.

Bandura’s Take: Botnets remains a key risk for organizations and we continue to see this as one of the critical categories in the threat intelligence feeds within the Bandura Threat Intelligence Gateway.

 

Middle East, North Africa Cybercrime Ups Its Game

Cyber criminals in the Middle East and North Africa are getting more advanced and aggressive in their tradecraft. Ransomware infections increased 233% this past year. It’s indicated this could be yet another international cybercrime region emerging as a threat to the U.S.

Bandura’s Take: A well thought out GEO-IP filtering policy is a great first step for organizations to reduce their attack surface here. If you aren’t doing business in these regions, what’s the point of having traffic from them on your network? One thing we continue to see is organizations conducting GEO-IP filtering through access control lists (ACLs) in their routers. This can be ineffective due to changing country IPs and is also hard to manage. Comprehensive, easy, and effective GEO-IP blocking continues to be a key use case for Threat Intelligence Gateways.

 

Carbon Black: Cyber Attacks Could Jump 60% During Holidays

According to Carbon Black’s Threat Analysis Unit, companies can expect as much as a 60% increase in cyber-attacks during the holiday season. Last year, the number of attacks grew 57.5% year-over-year with many of the attacks coming through spear-phishing campaigns that take advantage of commodity malware. Carbon Black cites attack kits being readily and cheaply available on the dark web and an expanding attacker arsenal incorporating artificial intelligence, using watering holes, and targeting mobiles apps.

Bandura’s Take: There continues to be a high volume of known threats that organizations are grappling with. Incorporating threat intelligence into your defense arsenal is an effective and efficient way to mitigate the risk of known threats. It’s also a great time of year to revisit your GEO-IP filtering policies.

 

Buckle Up: A Closer Look at Airline Security Breaches

Great article from Kelly Sheridan at Dark Reading. Takes a look at a recent increase cyber attacks on airports and airlines with motivations ranging from financial and identity theft to corporate espionage. Attackers are looking to gain access to valuable credit cards and using ransomware to extort airlines. Passport information is also indicated to be an attractive target. Airlines and airports both also work with a number of third-party vendors which increases risk.

Bandura’s Take: Attackers are clearly increasing their sights on the aviation industry. One best practice for aviation companies is to make sure you are a member and involved with the Aviation Information Sharing & Analysis Center (A-ISAC). Incorporating threat intelligence, including industry-specific threat intelligence, is a critical component of cyber defense. However, it’s also important to be able to operationalize this intelligence to be able to better see and block threat actor activity.

 

Uber Fined Nearly $1.2 Million by Dutch, UK Over Data Breach

Uber pays a heavy fine for failing to protect customers’ data. British officials cited “avoidable data security flaws.”

Bandura’s Take: Monetary penalties related to cyber breaches are going to become more common place and a bigger issue. This is one key driver behind the growing adoption of cyber insurance.

 

Gov Committee Raises Concerns Over UK Critical Infrastructure Security

This Security Weekly article discusses a report by the UK Parliament’s Joint Committee on the National Security Strategy, which examines the security of critical infrastructure. One recommendation is that the government should establish a plan for the development of threat and intelligence-led penetration testing. There’s also the mention of an increasing focus on supply chain security, identifying an expert board member with specific responsibility for cyber resilience and mandatory corporate reporting, and that the government should consider whether and how the increased use of cyber insurance could be used to improve companies’ cyber practices.

Bandura’s Take: Third party risk and supply chain security continue to be a hot topic. Having dedicated executives and/or board members focused on cyber is becoming a trend as is increasing focus on and adoption of cyber insurance.

 

Who’s the Weakest Link in Your Supply Chain?

Speaking of third party risk some interesting data from a survey by The Ponemon Institute. 60% of organizations of suffered data breaches resulting from a third party. Only 34% of companies have a comprehensive inventory of all third-party suppliers they work with.

Bandura’s Take: We recently attended the Global Resilience Federation’s Annual Summit which was focused on third party risk. For good reason, this is an area where more security organizations are instituting formal and dedicated people and programs focused on this issue. Our friends at Shared Assessments are doing some interesting work in this area. Check them out.

 

USPS fixes ‘Informed Delivery’ flaw that exposed 60M users

U.S. Postal Service fixed a flaw that exposed the personal details of 60 million users with usps.com accounts. It’s indicated that a researcher reported the vulnerability to USPS a year ago but never received a response. The vulnerability was in its Informed Delivery API.

Bandura’s Take: Illustrates the increasing importance of securing APIs. More importantly, it’s a shocking example of not doing the basics with respect to cyber hygiene. Taking a year to remediate an issue is crazy.

 

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