Ransomware payments are down.

Why that might not be a good thing for Nebraska. Based on a study of thousands of cases that it has worked, incident response firm Coveware has found that the number of firms paying a ransom has dropped from 85% in Q1 2019 to 46% in Q1 2022. When victims do pay a ransom, in Q1 2022, they paid an average of $211,529, down 34% from the previous quarter, Coveware found. It attributes this to fewer victims paying, attackers overall infecting...

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HHS HC3: Beware of Lapsus$, Email Marketing-Related Threats

Authorities Warn Healthcare, Public Health Sectors of Latest Concerns Federal authorities are warning the healthcare sector of potential threats involving Lapsus$, including those related to the extortion group’s recent hack of identity management vendor Okta. The Department of Health and Human Services’ Health Sector Cybersecurity Coordination Center, or HC3, in an advisory issued on April 7, warns of attack threats to the sector...

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Premium Hikes and Vetting Decrease US Cyber Insurance Losses

Declining Loss Ratios May Allow Insurance Premium Increases to Moderate in Late 2022 An improvement in loss ratios for cyber insurance providers in 2021 means the rapid rise in premiums might, at last, subside later this year. The loss ratio, simply insurer payouts versus premiums earned, declined for the first time since 2018 despite the frequency and severity of claims filed for cyberattacks increasing yet again in 2021. The improvement was...

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Large Hacking Incidents Increasing Since February

The number of major health data breaches and the number of individuals posted to the HHS “Wall of Shame” so far in 2022 has surged in recent weeks as reports of large hacking incidents continue to flow into regulators. As of last week, the HIPAA Breach Reporting Tool website shows that 117 breaches affecting about 5.32 million people have been posted in 2022. That’s an increase of nearly 83% in the number of breaches posted on the HHS...

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U.S. Sanctions Add Layer Of Risk To Ransomware

Ransomware has been on a dramatic upswing over the last couple of years. The proliferation of Ransomware As A Service (RAAS), the subsequent lowering of barriers for both criminal groups and state actors, as well as the payment of ransoms have helped drive this dramatic increase. According to the U.S. Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), most ransomware attacks start through phishing, exploitation of remote desktop...

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Cyber Agencies Warn: Ransomware Attacks Are Worse Than Ever

Memo to businesses: Ransomware attacks are worse than ever, and unless you prepare, don’t be surprised if you or your business is the next victim, warn government cybersecurity czars. Joint advisory cybersecurity authorities in the United States, Australia, and the United Kingdom observed a marked increase in sophisticated, high-impact ransomware incidents against critical infrastructure organizations globally throughout 2021. They expect...

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HHS Warns of Threats to Electronic Health Records

Healthcare entities should implement a more “proactive preparedness” approach for protecting their electronic health record/electronic medical record systems. Federal regulators warn that these are an increasingly attractive target for cyberattacks and other breaches. The DHHS Health Sector Cybersecurity Coordination Center, in a threat brief issued Thursday, reinforced that EHRs/EMRs are profitable to cybercriminals. Largely due to...

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Insider Threats are a Quiet Risk in your System

The Ripple Effects that Extend Outward from a Breach According to the Verizon 2020 Data Breach report, 22% of all security incidents are perpetuated by insiders. In addition, the costs of insider breaches – caused either by human error or bad actors have – risen by 47% over the past two years. As an organization, a certain amount of trust is required to ensure that business runs smoothly. But, given the inherent risks involved, that trust...

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HHS Warns Healthcare Sector of Pysa Ransomware Threats

Alert Comes as Health Entities Globally Continue Battling Cyberattacks, Fallout The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has posted a warning to the healthcare sector about increasing threats involving Pysa ransomware and the cybercriminal gang Mespinoza — also known as Gold Burlap and Cyborg Spider — which operates the malware variant. In an alert, the DHHS Health Sector Cybersecurity Coordination Center, or HC3, warns that since 2018,...

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Worrying Trends in Cyber Insurance

There are several trends emerging in the cyber insurance industry that are worrying for mid-size and local entities. These trends are largely a response to the havoc ransomware has caused across industries in the last 18 months. The emerging trends can be summed up as: Prices are increasing, in many cases in the range of 2x-4x Renewal and acceptance rates for policies are going down, in many cases, by 40%-60% compared to previous years Entities...

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Former Company Executive Causes Breach Affecting Nearly 38,000

A recent breach affecting 37,636 individuals has been attributed to a terminated company executive. The information in the file included name, age, sex, race, county and state of residence, and zip code, as well as Medicare beneficiary information, such as Medicare eligibility period, spend information, and hierarchical condition category risk score. This breach highlights some of the top security and privacy challenges covered entities and...

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Fox Kitten Strikes Again?

Law enforcement and intelligence agencies in the U.S, the U.K. and Australia have issued a joint advisory on unidentified Iran government-backed advanced persistent threat (APT) actors exploiting Fortinet and Microsoft Exchange ProxyShell vulnerabilities to attack organizations in their respective countries. Attributing the attacks to a specific APT group is inherently challenging, but a senior cyber threat intelligence analyst has pointed out...

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FBI Warning Issued About Hive Ransomware

The FBI has issued a warning about Hive ransomware after the crime group took down IT systems at Memorial Health System in Ohio The alert details indicators of compromise and tactics, techniques and procedures—or TTPs—associated with ransomware attacks by the apparent ransomware-as-a-service operation. The full release can be found here:  https://www.ic3.gov/Media/News/2021/210825.pdf In addition to the details of the attack, the FBI has issued...

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Alleged HVAC Hack Shines Spotlight on OT Risks to Healthcare

ENE Systems hack said to affect 3 Boston Hospitals   A hacking incident that reportedly targeted a Massachusetts-based ENE Systems that provides HVAC systems to several Boston-area hospitals and others shines a spotlight on the growing cybersecurity risks involving IoT devices and OT equipment.   Call to Action Perhaps the most high-profile incident involving an HVAC hack was the 2013 Target breach. It resulted in 41 million...

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Health Data Breach Trends

Ransomware Attacks, Vendor Incidents Continue to Dominate So far in 2021, some 383 health data breaches affecting more than 27 million individuals have been added to the HHS wall of shame. That includes 131 breaches affecting nearly 10 million since the end of May. Of the 2021 breaches, the vast majority — 283 breaches affecting 26.1 million individuals — were reported as involving hacking/IT incidents. Largest Breaches of 2021 Florida Healthy...

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Kaseya Breach Points to Risks in VSA/MSP Systems

Over the last week, more than a thousand companies, many of them small businesses, were dealing with the fallout from the Kaseya mass ransomware incident. In the wake of the devastating compromise of Kaseya’s popular IT management tool, researchers and security professionals are warning that the debacle isn’t a one-off event but part of a larger trend. Hackers are increasingly targeting the entire class of tools that administrators...

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Nebraska Medicine Data Breach Lawsuit Has Proposed Settlement

Complaint Alleged Multiple Security ‘Failures’ Leading to 2020 Cyberattack A federal court has approved a proposed settlement in a class-action lawsuit filed in February against Nebraska Medicine. This is in the wake of a 2020 malware attack and exfiltration of sensitive personal data and medical records of tens of thousands of individuals. The costs of the proposed settlement could exceed $37 million in patient reimbursements.  Out...

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How ‘SEO Poisoning’ Is Used to Deploy Malware

Criminals targeting business people with malware-laden documents SolarMarker backdoor malware operators are using “SEO poisoning” techniques to deploy the remote access Trojan to steal sensitive information, Microsoft reports. SEO poisoning attacks use PDFs stuffed with links to malware that is used to steal data and credentials from browsers. Attack Analysis In April, cybersecurity firm eSentire found that hackers had flooded the...

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Ransomware Continues to Cause Disruptions

Oil pipelines and Apple among most recent targets Seemingly every week, there’s a new disruption caused by ransomware. Some of them are more noteworthy than others, with the recent pipeline disruption getting the most coverage followed by a $50M ransom demanded from Apple a few weeks ago. It’s all part of a trend of escalating criminal activity centered around ransomware. Trends While the high-profile demands and disruptions are generating...

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