March 12 2021
Welcome to our daily news overview – a place where we keep you up to date on the latest technology updates, cybersecurity news, and more. Here’s what’s going on in the tech world today:
Data breach at Elara Caring exposes 100,000 patients’ information
No organisation is off-limits to cyber-criminals, and if anything, we’ve seen an increase in attacks against education and healthcare providers over the past 12 months. Elara Caring is a US organisation that provides home-based care to the elderly.
Hackers gained access to the organisation after targeting employees with a series of phishing attacks in December 2020. This resulted in over 100,000 elderly individuals having their data compromised, which is bad enough, but then considering the data sets that were accessed included their names, DoBs, phone numbers, addresses, social security numbers, insurance numbers, their bank account info, and even their driving license numbers – that’s very worrying.
Although this was reportedly an isolated incident, this data breach will no doubt have a serious affect on peoples’ trust in Elara Caring. The organisation had this to say: “Elara has no evidence that personal information was downloaded, accessed or misused by the intruder. The leading specialist assisting on this matter also confirmed that there was no evidence of malware, wire transactions, or unauthorized system access.” Read more here.
Russia blames its Google outage on a data centre fire, but Google begs to differ
Russian authorities have claimed that the problems users are having when trying to access Youtube and Google are down to a fire at a Strasbourg data centre. This site belongs to OVH – a French cloud service provider that runs 32 data centres across Europe, America and Asia. It’s unclear how the fire started, and while the blaze was declared a major incident, thankfully, no one was injured.
Interestingly, Google has denied the Russain authorities’ claims, saying the fire had nothing to do with it, and in actual fact it was an unrelated networking issue that was to blame. According to Google, the fact that a fire occurred at the same time is just a coincidence.
Google released this statement: “At 02:00 Pacific Time on 10 March we became aware of an upstream network issue that partially impacted internet service for users in Russia. We believe the cause of this incident was a misconfiguration of the routers at a local third-party internet service provider. Following extensive investigation we have no evidence to indicate that the fire in OVHCloud’s data centre, or Google’s own infrastructure, was the root cause of this incident.” Read more here.
Ethical Hackers are making millions by finding and reporting business software flaws
Over the years, commercial bug bounty programs have become more and more popular, but over the last 12 months, they’ve increased substantially. Covid-19 has affected businesses in many different ways, but one positive is that many more organisations are starting to take a more serious approach to security.
A bug bounty is an amount of money paid by an organisation to a white hat hacker if they are able to find previously unknown vulnerabilities in their systems. Think of it as kind of an open penetration testing competition, where you’re awarded a prize if you successfully hack in. That prize can range from £150, all the way up into the millions. 2020 in particular saw hackers earn a record £28 million for reporting software flaws. Read more here.
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