RBI to Work for Cyber Security Awareness in FY19
The central bank of India, in view of growing incidents of cyber frauds, is enhancing the security mechanism as a part of its agenda this fiscal year as digital transactions have risen way higher.
“With the emerging threat landscape, where organized cybercrime and cyber warfare are gaining prominence, the Department (of Information Technology) is working towards ensuring continuous protection against the changing contours of the cybersecurity threat,” as per the RBI’s annual report.
The RBI’s report added that the 2018-19 agenda includes taking steps to “further enhance” the levels of protection against cyber attacks. In order to do the same, RBI will proactively initiate a process of developing a cybersecurity culture by making it a responsibility and thus ensure confidentiality and availability of information system and resources.
“An Audit Management Application portal to handle various supervisory functions of the cybersecurity and information technology examination cell in the Reserve Bank and to fully automate monitoring of returns has been envisaged in order to facilitate consistency and efficiency of the offsite monitoring mechanism,” the report said.
It has been seen that new private sector and foreign banks account for 36 percent each of all cyber frauds reported in the various categories. Based on that RBI opinioned its views by saying, “In an endeavor to strengthen the cybersecurity posture of Indian banks, focused and theme-based IT examinations are planned during 2018-19. Targeted scrutiny, as and when required, would also be conducted for appropriate policy and supervisory intervention.”
“In order to secure consistency and improve the efficiency of the offsite monitoring mechanism, an Audit Management Application portal to facilitate various supervisory functions of the Cyber Security and Information Technology Examination (CSITE) Cell and to fully automate monitoring of returns has been envisaged, which will be operationalized by March 2019,” it added.
Insider Attack could be Easily Executed, says 43% Of Security Pros
Recent Survey of nearly 200 IT professionals about insider threats found that more than half of the participants believe that inside attacks in any kind of organizations will definitely become successful. Of the IT Professionals who participated in the survey, 43% said they were confident that they could execute an insider attack. Only a third said carrying out an insider attack would be either difficult or impossible, while a mere 22% felt they had a 50-50 chance of successfully stealing information from the inside.
On enquiring about how they would execute a successful insider attack, 23% said they would use their company-owned laptop to steal information from the organization, 20% will use their personal computers and 19% would use their own laptops.
Thus, insider threats continue to rank amongst the top priorities suggesting that every company could potentially fall victim to an insider-related breach whether from a malicious actor or an unintended threat.
Cyber Security Skill Development Initiative by Informatics Institute of Technology
With cybersecurity gaining importance in the new technological developments and interventions, organizations and governments are taking serious steps to tackle cyber attacks by malicious hackers/parties.
With the estimate that there will be over one million cybersecurity job openings over the next few years and a massive shortfall of skilled people has raised an aura of seriousness among masses. Informatics Institute of Technology, a pioneer in British higher education in Sri Lanka has launched Sri Lanka’s first Cyber Security and Forensics Master’s programme from University of Westminster, UK.
Dean of IIT, Naomi Krishnarajah said, “In today’s high-tech world, computers play a vital role in all aspects of our daily lives. Numerous industries and institutions – from hospitals, banks, power plants, telecommunication companies and many more – rely heavily on them for virtually every aspect of their operations. Unfortunately, while the world is becoming increasingly interconnected, there is not enough attention paid to the security aspects and therefore computer systems and the huge volumes of data on them are vulnerable to attacks by malicious parties. Therefore, the need for improved computer security has never been greater and will only continue to increase in the future. We are introducing this Master’s program to increase the number of skilled professionals in the country to cope with this fast-changing field of IT,” she said.
The course is structured in a manner where all students cover the five core modules and choose a specialization in Cyber Security or Digital Forensics.
Cryptocurrency related Cybercrime; Thailand Braces for it
Cryptocurrency involved criminal activity is expected to soar in Thailand according to a recent study conducted due to the rise in illegal, transnational organized crime activities in Southeast Asian Countries.
Crimes for cryptocurrency has been cited for helping in value transfer for the transactions involved in a wide array of increasingly popular crimes among gangs in Thailand. According to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and Thailand Institute of Justice (TIJ), digital currencies are being used for doing illegal drug trades, fire-arm deals on dark web and malware and also to fund terrorist activities. It has been seen there are over 6 billion cybercrime cases recorded annually in the region.
The UNODC and TIJ also organized a seminar called “Advancing the Economy and Combating crime in Digital Age: Cryptocurrency and Crime” which outlined the state of Thailand’s readiness for cybercrimes and targeted areas to improve. Thailand’s deputy Prime Minister and Justice Minister Prajin Juntong mentioned that the country has set up a cybercrime committee though it still lacks some of the requisite skills to handle the infrastructure for this.
20,000 Users Affected by Air Canada’s Mobile App Breach
Air Canada locked down all 1.7 million customer accounts until they changed their passwords owing to a data breach in its mobile app that may have lead to around 20,000 customers personal information being compromised. The Montreal-based company in its notice in the website mentioned, “We immediately took action to block these attempts and implemented additional protocols to protect against further unauthorized attempts. As an additional security precaution, we have locked all Air Canada mobile App accounts to protect our customers’ data.”
The contents of potentially compromised data include basic profile information like name, email address, telephone number. However, if customer stored more sensitive information like Aeroplan number, passport number, nationality, passport number, then those would also be in danger. The company noted that credit card information was encrypted and protected from the breach.
All Air Canada Mobile App users have been urged to reset their passwords as it has added improved password guidelines to further enhance security measures now.
Tech Supply Chain Targeted by Chinese Hacker Group
A mysterious group called “Intrusion Truth” has been releasing blog posts giving information on Chinese-linked hackings. Their recent findings show that a persistent threat group named Stone Panda, one of the several Chinese APT groups has been charged with targeting supply chain vulnerabilities in the software, shared services, and telecommunications industries.
It has been noticed, after the postings of Intrusion Truth, several named individuals began scrubbing and deleting their social media accounts and other aspects of an online footprint. Trump administration in its public action relied on a two-pronged strategy for imposing consequences on malicious foreign-backed hacking groups. It has leveraged technology and intelligence resources to identify, attribute and blame nations for high-profile cyber-attacks and then followed up those actions by taking on criminal, economic and diplomatic sanctions against the country as well as entities involved.
High Number of Data Breach Crimes Committed by the Charity Sector
A high number of data breaches have been committed by charities in the recent past with over 140 cases reported to the Information Commissioner’s Office between 2017 and 2018accordint to the recent study from corporate investigations firm Kroll.
Charities fined for data breaches include British and Foreign Bible Society (£100,000), Oxfam (£6,000), Great Ormand Street Hospital for Children (£11,000) and the University of Greenwich (£120,000).
The Information Commissioner, Elizabeth Denham said, “Millions of people will have been affected by these charities’ contravention of the law. No charity wants to alienate their donors…but charities must follow the law.”
“Reporting data breaches wasn’t mandatory for most organizations before the GDPR came into force, so while the data is revealing, it only gives a snapshot into the true picture of breaches suffered by organizations in the UK,” said Andrew Beckett, Managing Director and EMEA Leader for Kroll’s Cyber Risk Practice. “The recent rise in the number of reports is probably due to organizations’ gearing up for the GDPR as much as an increase in incidents. We would also expect to see an increase in the value of penalties issues as the maximum possible fine has risen from £500.000… or 4 percent of annual turnover, whichever is higher. The ultimate impact is that businesses face not only a much greater financial risk around personal data but also a heightened reputational risk. Effective cybersecurity is not just about technology,” Beckett stated
Malware (53 incidents), phishing attacks (51) and ransomware (33) were the major attack vectors leading to breaches.
To maintain a level of transparency, ICO has also posted tips and also reminded companies of 72 hours grace period in which to alert the organization of a data breach so that appropriate action could be taken
$7.91 Million is the Cost of a US Data Breach
An average size of the data breach in the US is 31465 compromised records and it takes 201 days to identify that the breach is happening and thus becomes the costliest with more records containing personal information according to a recently released report 2018 Cost of a Data Breach Study: Global Overview” from IBM Security and the Ponemon Institute.
The average price of the data breach in the US swells to $7.91 million per breach whereas the global average hovers around $3.86 million as per the report. This report has been based on interviews with 2200 IT, data protection and compliance professionals from 477 companies that have had a data breach in the last 12 months. The results were formulated from companies based in 15 countries, including 65 in the U.S.
The following were the factors of the cost of a data breach:
- Costs of discovery and response to the data breach, such as forensics and investigation activities, audit services and crisis team management
- Notification of victims, such as emails, letters, and phone calls
- Communication with regulators and engagement with outside experts
- Issuing new accounts or credit cards
- Product discounts, to appease shoppers after a breach
- Increases in help desk communication
- Legal fees
- Fixing root causes of the data breach
- Time to detect and contain the breach
- Cost of business disruption and revenue loss from downtime
- Cost of lost customers and acquiring new customers
- Reputation losses and diminished goodwill
“U.S. companies have higher costs because customers have more options and their loyalty is harder to preserve,” according to the report. “With current notifications laws, customers have a greater awareness of data breaches and have higher expectations regarding how companies should help them following the breach.”
Even notification cost for a breach also is the highest in the US at $740,000 on average which includes the cost of creating a contact database, determining all regulatory requirements, getting help for outside experts, postal feels for letters to consumers, e-mail bounce backs and inbound communication setups.
Repeat Offenders Cause 30% of 142 Healthcare Data Breaches in Q2
The latest Protenus Breach Barometer reported that the healthcare sector suffered 142 data breaches from April through June impacting 3.14 million patient records – nearly 3 times the number reported in the first part of the year. The worst part of the entire things turned out to be that 30% of those breaches were caused by repeat offenders from within the organizations.
“If an individual healthcare employee breaches patient privacy once, there is a greater than 30 percent chance that they will do so again in three months’ time, and a greater than 66 percent chance they will do so again in a years’ time,” the report authors wrote. “In other words, even minor privacy violations that are not promptly detected and mitigated have the potential to compound risk over time,” they added.
The report found, “Nine out of 1,000 employees breach patient privacy. And 70,562 breached patient records were caused by insider wrongdoing, which is up from just 4,597 records from the first quarter.”
“Educating and retraining workforce members on data privacy and security policy and procedures can reduce the frequency of repeat offenders within the organization,” according to the Protenus report.
.exe Files being Encrypted by Barack Obama Ransomware
Oddly named “Barack Obama’s Everlasting Blue Blackmail Virus Ransomware” has been noted to encrypt .exe files on a computer before displaying an image of Obama asking for a tip to decrypt the files.
After its execution, the malware inspires change by terminating the processes associated with any antivirus software before it scans the computer for .exe files to encrypt. The execution also leads to modification in the registry keys associated with .exe files so that they use a new icon and run the virus every time someone launches an executable as part of the encryption process.
Presently the source of this malware is currently unknown as victims can only hope researchers develop decryption key soon. A similar incident happened before 2016 elections too when cybercriminals in similar fashion created a Donald Trump Ransomware.