Cyber News Rundown
February 17, 2017Connor Madsen By Connor Madsen: Threat Research Analyst

Cyber News Rundown: Edition 2/17/2017

Outerwear Online Retailer Hit with Cyber Attack

Columbia Sportswear announced that they were in the midst of investigating a cyberattack on one of its subsidiary retail sites, prAna, a brand that was acquired by Columbia in 2014. While officials still haven’t confirmed the type of attack, they have stated that it shouldn’t affect any of Columbia’s other affiliated sites.

University Targeted by Fishy Hack

An American university’s computer network was slowed to a crawl by nearly 5,000 infected devices from around the campus, all repeatedly performing searches for seafood. The IT staff noticed the dramatic increase in network traffic caused by the attack, though were initially unable to remedy the situation due to the sheer number of IoT devices sending the commands.

Mandatory Data Breach Reporting Implemented in Australia

In the past several years, thousands of companies and organizations have been victims of some form of data breach, though the number actually being reported is significantly less. While some companies choose to hide the breach from the public for fear of financial loss, this now will change in Australia as they have finally passed legislation for mandatory reporting to the Privacy Commissioner and any affected customers. This reporting must come immediately after a breach has been confirmed and could lead to hefty fines if they go unreported.

Politicians Quick to Adopt New Messaging App

A large number of politicians have been turning to an end-to-end encrypting message app that automatically deletes the conversation after a pre-determined amount of time. Similar to SnapChat, where the picture only lasts for a few seconds, the message app Confide only allows the reading of the message as a finger or cursor passes over the writing. This step dissuades any attempts to save the message’s contents, thereby keeping them from unauthorized eyes.

Ransomware Attack on Water Supply

A security researcher from Georgia created an experiment to simulate a ransomware attack on a water supply system. By using programmable logic controllers that are used in real systems, he was able to show how easily they were to exploit. Many were poorly-secured and even fully accessible online. By using one of these vulnerabilities, an attacker could easily disable several critical systems and damage the actual infrastructure.

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