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The Hacker News - Cybersecurity News and Analysis: data security

Thousands of Borrowers' Data Exposed from ENCollect Debt Collection Service

Thousands of Borrowers' Data Exposed from ENCollect Debt Collection Service

May 05, 2022Ravie Lakshmanan
An ElasticSearch server instance that was left open on the Internet without a password contained sensitive financial information about loans from Indian and African financial services. The leak, which was discovered by researchers from information security company UpGuard, amounted to 5.8GB and consisted of a total of 1,686,363 records. "Those records included personal information like name, loan amount, date of birth, account number, and more," UpGuard  said  in a report shared with The Hacker News. "A total of 48,043 unique email addresses were in the collection, some of which were for the product administrators, corporate clients, and collection agents assigned to each case." The exposed instance, used as data storage for a  debt collection platform  called ENCollect, was detected on February 16, 2022. The leaky server has since been rendered non-accessible to the public as of February 28 following intervention from the Indian Computer Emergency Response Tea
Google's New Safety Section Shows What Data Android Apps Collect About Users

Google's New Safety Section Shows What Data Android Apps Collect About Users

April 27, 2022Ravie Lakshmanan
Google on Tuesday officially began rolling out a new "Data safety" section for Android apps on the Play Store to highlight the type of data being collected and shared with third-parties. "Users want to know for what purpose their data is being collected and whether the developer is sharing user data with third parties," Suzanne Frey, Vice President of product for Android security and privacy,  said . "In addition, users want to understand how app developers are securing user data after an app is downloaded." The transparency measure, which is built along the lines of Apple's " Privacy Nutrition Labels ," was  first announced  by Google nearly a year ago in May 2021. The Data safety section, which will show up against every app listing on the digital storefront, presents a unified view of what data is being collected, for what purpose it's being used, and how it's handled, while also highlighting what data is being shared with thi
Facebook Hit With $18.6 Million GDPR Fine Over 12 Data Breaches in 2018

Facebook Hit With $18.6 Million GDPR Fine Over 12 Data Breaches in 2018

March 15, 2022Ravie Lakshmanan
The Irish Data Protection Commission (DPC) on Tuesday slapped Facebook and WhatsApp owner Meta Platforms a fine of €17 million (~$18.6 million) for a series of security lapses that occurred in violation of the European Union's  GDPR laws  in the region. "The DPC found that Meta Platforms failed to have in place appropriate technical and organizational measures which would enable it to readily demonstrate the security measures that it implemented in practice to protect EU users' data, in the context of the twelve personal data breaches," the watchdog  said  in a press release. The decision follows the regulator's investigation into 12  data   breach   notifications  it received over the course of a six-month period between June 7 and December 4, 2018. "This fine is about record keeping practices from 2018 that we have since updated, not a failure to protect people's information," Meta  said  in a statement shared with the Associated Press. "
CaddyWiper: Yet Another Data Wiping Malware Targeting Ukrainian Networks

CaddyWiper: Yet Another Data Wiping Malware Targeting Ukrainian Networks

March 15, 2022Ravie Lakshmanan
Two weeks after details emerged about a second data wiper strain delivered in attacks against Ukraine, yet another destructive malware has been detected amid Russia's continuing military invasion of the country. Slovak cybersecurity company ESET dubbed the third wiper " CaddyWiper ," which it said it first observed on March 14 around 9:38 a.m. UTC. Metadata associated with the executable (" caddy.exe ") shows that the malware was compiled at 7:19 a.m. UTC, a little over two hours prior to its deployment. CaddyWiper is notable for the fact that it doesn't share any similarities with previously discovered wipers in Ukraine, including  HermeticWiper  (aka FoxBlade or KillDisk) and  IsaacWiper  (aka Lasainraw), the two of which have been deployed in systems belonging to government and commercial entities. "The ultimate goal of the attackers is the same as with IsaacWiper and HermeticWiper: make the systems unusable by erasing user data and partition i
4 Cloud Data Security Best Practices All Businesses Should Follow Today

4 Cloud Data Security Best Practices All Businesses Should Follow Today

February 17, 2022The Hacker News
These days, businesses all around the world have come to depend on cloud platforms for a variety of mission-critical workflows. They keep their CRM data in the cloud. They process their payrolls in the cloud. They even manage their HR processes through the cloud. And all of that means they're trusting the bulk of their privileged business data to those cloud providers, too. And while most major cloud providers do a decent job of keeping data secure, the majority of business users take an upload-it-and-forget-it approach to their data security needs. And that — needless to say — is dangerous. In reality, cloud providers can only protect a business's data if the business does its part by adhering to some cloud security best practices. And fortunately, they're not that complicated. Here are the four most important cloud security best practices businesses should build into their cloud operations right away. Never Skip Selection Due Diligence The first cloud security best p
France Rules That Using Google Analytics Violates GDPR Data Protection Law

France Rules That Using Google Analytics Violates GDPR Data Protection Law

February 10, 2022Ravie Lakshmanan
French data protection regulators on Thursday found the use of Google Analytics a breach of the European Union's General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) laws in the country, almost a month after a  similar decision  was reached in Austria. To that end, the National Commission on Informatics and Liberty (CNIL) ruled that the transatlantic movement of Google Analytics data to the U.S. is not "sufficiently regulated" citing a violation of  Articles 44 et seq.  of the data protection decree, which govern the transfers of personal data to third countries or international entities. Specifically the independent administrative regulatory body highlighted the lack of equivalent privacy protections and the risk that "American intelligence services would access personal data transferred to the United States if the transfers were not properly regulated." "[A]lthough Google has adopted additional measures to regulate data transfers in the context of the Google An
Microsoft Details macOS Bug That Could Let Attackers Gain Access to User Data

Microsoft Details macOS Bug That Could Let Attackers Gain Access to User Data

January 10, 2022Ravie Lakshmanan
Microsoft on Monday disclosed details of a recently patched security vulnerability in Apple's macOS operating system that could be weaponized by a threat actor to expose users' personal information. Tracked as CVE-2021-30970, the flaw concerns a logic issue in the Transparency, Consent and Control (TCC) security framework, which enables users to configure the privacy settings of their apps and provide access to protected files and app data. The  Security & Privacy pane  in the macOS System Preferences app serves as the front end of TCC. Microsoft 365 Defender Research Team, which reported the vulnerability to Apple on July 15, 2021, dubbed the flaw " powerdir ." Apple  addressed  the issue as part of macOS 11.6 and 12.1 updates released in December 2021 with improved state management. While Apple does enforce a policy that limits access to TCC to only apps with full disk access, it's possible to orchestrate an attack wherein a malicious application could
Italy's Antitrust Regulator Fines Google and Apple for "Aggressive" Data Practices

Italy's Antitrust Regulator Fines Google and Apple for "Aggressive" Data Practices

November 26, 2021Ravie Lakshmanan
Italy's antitrust regulator has fined both Apple and Google €10 million each for what it calls are "aggressive" data practices and for not providing consumers with clear information on commercial uses of their personal data during the account creation phase. The Autorità Garante della Concorrenza e del Mercato (AGCM)  said  "Google and Apple did not provide clear and immediate information on the acquisition and use of user data for commercial purposes," adding the tech companies chose to emphasize the data collection as only necessary to improve their own services and personalize user experience without offering any indication that the data could be transferred and used for other reasons. The concerns have to do with how the companies omit relevant information when creating an account and using their services, details which the authority said are critical to making an informed decision as to whether or not to give permission for utilizing their data for comme
Why Database Patching Best Practice Just Doesn't Work and How to Fix It

Why Database Patching Best Practice Just Doesn't Work and How to Fix It

October 18, 2021The Hacker News
Patching really, really matters – patching is what keeps technology solutions from becoming like big blocks of Swiss cheese, with endless security vulnerabilities punching hole after hole into critical solutions. But anyone who's spent any amount of time maintaining systems will know that patching is often easier said than done. Yes, in some instances, you can just run a command line to install that patch, and that's it. These instances are increasingly rare though – given the complexity of the technology environment, you're more likely faced with a complex process to achieve patching best practice. In this article, we'll outline why database patching matters (yes, databases are vulnerable too!), explain what the problem is with patching databases, and point to a novel solution that takes the pain out of database patching. Watch out – your database services are vulnerable too We know that database services are critical – databases underpin IT operations in countle
Microsoft Exchange Bug Exposes ~100,000 Windows Domain Credentials

Microsoft Exchange Bug Exposes ~100,000 Windows Domain Credentials

September 23, 2021Ravie Lakshmanan
An unpatched design flaw in the implementation of Microsoft Exchange's Autodiscover protocol has resulted in the leak of approximately 100,000 login names and passwords for Windows domains worldwide. "This is a severe security issue, since if an attacker can control such domains or has the ability to 'sniff' traffic in the same network, they can capture domain credentials in plain text (HTTP basic authentication) that are being transferred over the wire," Guardicore's Amit Serper  said  in a technical report. "Moreover, if the attacker has DNS-poisoning capabilities on a large scale (such as a nation-state attacker), they could systematically syphon out leaky passwords through a large-scale DNS poisoning campaign based on these Autodiscover TLDs [top-level domains]." The Exchange  Autodiscover  service enables users to configure applications such as Microsoft Outlook with minimal user input, allowing just a combination of email addresses and pas
Zero Trust Requires Cloud Data Security with Integrated Continuous Endpoint Risk Assessment

Zero Trust Requires Cloud Data Security with Integrated Continuous Endpoint Risk Assessment

September 14, 2021The Hacker News
Every once in a while, an industry term will get overused by marketing to the point of becoming a cliche. "Zero Trust" may have reached this threshold. In some ways, we understand why this is happening. Security perimeters have become obsolete as people use mobile devices and cloud applications to work from anywhere. Zero Trust deployment — moving all your apps and data to the cloud and assuming no user or device is trustworthy until proven otherwise in order to gain access — has been rapidly introduced as a result of the pandemic. However, most attempts at achieving Zero Trust access today are a patchwork of disparate products from different vendors connected to virtual private networks (VPN), with rudimentary on-off access controls based on limited visibility. Cloud security company,  Lookout , believes a modern approach to Zero Trust needs to take into account the fact that data has moved to the cloud and users are working from anywhere, on any device, and connecting o
Critical Cosmos Database Flaw Affected Thousands of Microsoft Azure Customers

Critical Cosmos Database Flaw Affected Thousands of Microsoft Azure Customers

August 27, 2021Ravie Lakshmanan
Cloud infrastructure security company Wiz on Thursday revealed details of a now-fixed Azure Cosmos database vulnerability that could have been potentially exploited to grant any Azure user full admin access to other customers' database instances without any authorization. The flaw, which grants read, write, and delete privileges, has been dubbed " ChaosDB ," with Wiz researchers noting that "the vulnerability has a trivial exploit that doesn't require any previous access to the target environment, and impacts thousands of organizations, including numerous Fortune 500 companies." Cosmos DB is Microsoft's proprietary  NoSQL database  that's advertised as "a fully managed service" that "takes database administration off your hands with automatic management, updates and patching." The Wiz Research Team reported the issue to Microsoft on August 12, after which the Windows maker took steps to mitigate the issue within 48 hours of r
Why Is There A Surge In Ransomware Attacks?

Why Is There A Surge In Ransomware Attacks?

August 13, 2021The Hacker News
The U.S. is presently combating two pandemics--coronavirus and ransomware attacks. Both have partially shut down parts of the economy. However, in the case of cybersecurity, lax security measures allow hackers to have an easy way to rake in millions. It's pretty simple for hackers to gain financially, using malicious software to access and encrypt data and hold it hostage until the victim pays the ransom. Cyber attacks are more frequent now because it is effortless for hackers to execute them. Further, the payment methods are now friendlier to them. In addition, businesses are  willing to pay a ransom  because of the growing reliance on digital infrastructure, giving hackers more incentives to attempt more breaches.  Bolder cybercriminals A few years back, cybercriminals played psychological games before getting bank passwords and using their technical know-how to steal money from people's accounts. They are bolder now because it is easy for them to buy ransomware software
Phony Call Centers Tricking Users Into Installing Ransomware and Data-Stealers

Phony Call Centers Tricking Users Into Installing Ransomware and Data-Stealers

July 29, 2021Ravie Lakshmanan
An ongoing malicious campaign that employs phony call centers has been found to trick victims into downloading malware capable of data exfiltration as well as deploying ransomware on infected systems. The attacks — dubbed "BazaCall" — eschew traditional social engineering techniques that rely on rogue URLs and malware-laced documents in favor of a vishing-like method wherein targeted users are sent email messages informing them of a forthcoming subscription charge unless they call a specific phone number. By tricking the recipients into calling the number, the unsuspecting victims are connected with an actual human operator at a fraudulent call center, who then provides them with instructions to download the BazaLoader malware. BazaLoader (aka BazarBackdoor) is a C++-based downloader with the ability to install various types of malicious programs on infected computers, including deploying ransomware and other malware to steal sensitive data from victimized systems. First
Data Wiper Malware Disguised As Ransomware Targets Israeli Entities

Data Wiper Malware Disguised As Ransomware Targets Israeli Entities

May 26, 2021Ravie Lakshmanan
Researchers on Tuesday disclosed a new espionage campaign that resorts to destructive data-wiping attacks targeting Israeli entities at least since December 2020 that camouflage the malicious activity as ransomware extortions. Cybersecurity firm SentinelOne attributed the attacks to a nation-state actor affiliated with Iran it tracks under the moniker "Agrius." "An analysis of what at first sight appeared to be a ransomware attack revealed new variants of wipers that were deployed in a set of destructive attacks against Israeli targets," the researchers  said . "The operators behind the attacks intentionally masked their activity as ransomware attacks, an uncommon behavior for financially motivated groups." The group's modus operandi involves deploying a custom .NET malware called Apostle that has evolved to become a fully functional ransomware, supplanting its prior wiper capabilities, while some of the attacks have been carried out using a secon
Can Data Protection Systems Prevent Data At Rest Leakage?

Can Data Protection Systems Prevent Data At Rest Leakage?

May 13, 2021The Hacker News
Protection against insider risks works when the process involves controlling the data transfer channels or examining data sources. One approach involves preventing USB flash drives from being copied or sending them over email. The second one concerns preventing leakage or fraud in which an insider accesses files or databases with harmful intentions. What's the best way to protect your data? It seems obvious that prevention is the best way to solve any problem. In most cases, DCAP (data-centric audit and protection) and DAM (database activity monitoring) is sufficient. Both serve the purpose of protecting data at rest. The following example illustrates the approach we found in the Russian legal system. An employee of the Federal Migration Service in one of the Russian regions was approached by his friend, who asked him to hide information about two offenses in his file in the migrant database. The employee knew that this could be done remotely, accessed the database from home,
Importance of Application Security and Customer Data Protection to a Startup

Importance of Application Security and Customer Data Protection to a Startup

January 21, 2021The Hacker News
When you are a startup, there are umpteen things that demand your attention. You must give your hundred percent (probably even more!) to work effectively and efficiently with the limited resources. Understandably, the  application security importance  may be pushed at the bottom of your things-to-do list. One other reason to ignore web application protectioncould be your belief that only large enterprises are prone to data breaches, and your startup is hardly noticeable to become a target. Well, these eye-opening  statistics  prove otherwise. 43% of security attacks target small businesses New small businesses witnessed a 424% rise in security breaches in 2019 60% of small businesses close within six months of cyberattacks SMEs can lose more than $2.2 million a year to cyberattacks How Can Cyber Breaches Impact Your Startup? Unless you belong to the category of data security startups ,  which are thoroughly familiar with the importance of a secure web app, your startup can f
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