COVID-19 Drives Spike in Mobile Phishing Attacks

The increase in working from home during the COVID-19 pandemic has led to an increase in mobile phishing campaigns. Attackers are targeting remote workers whose devices lack adequate security protections to steal users’ banking credentials. Mobile phishing attacks increased by 37% globally in the first quarter of 2020. According to research based on data collected from 200 million mobile devices worldwide, 22% of mobile enterprise users...

Read More

Ransomware Attacks Hit 2 More Healthcare Organizations

Risk Mitigation Tips Ransomeware Attacks continue to surge as two ransomware incidents recently reported to federal regulators as health data breaches illustrate. Recent ransomware-related data breaches reported to the DHHS OCR affected Woodlawn Dental Center based in Cambridge, Ohio, and Mat-Su Surgical Associates in Palmer, Alaska. Woodlawn Dental Incident The HHS “Wall of Shame” shows that Woodlawn Dental reported on May 18 that a breach...

Read More

FBI Unveils the Top-10 Most Exploited Cybersecurity Vulnerabilities

The FBI has been keeping tabs on the most exploited vulnerabilities for years. They also pay close attention when it appears that hacking is being perpetrated by other nations. On May 12th, they released their list of the top 10 most exploited vulnerabilities. The list is intended to help all organizations “place an increased priority on patching the most commonly known vulnerabilities exploited by sophisticated foreign cyber...

Read More

Criminals, Rogue Nations Using COVID-19 To Distribute Malware

Attackers are continuing to use concerns over COVID-19 to distribute ransomware and malware, including for smartphones. While the healthcare sector is perhaps at the greatest risk from these attacks, criminals are using the panic as a widespread opportunity. Attacks include the usual suspects: cybercrime operators looking to make a fast buck – for example, by demanding a ransom to unlock crypto-locked systems – as well as...

Read More

Criminals Spoofing Bank Websites, Offering Attractive CD’s

The SEC’s Office of Investor Education and Advocacy has issued an Investor Alert to warn investors about phony Certificates of Deposit promoted through internet advertising and “spoofed” websites – websites that mimic the actual sites of legitimate financial institutions. Investors should be extremely cautious when purchasing CDs from sites found only through internet searches. “Spoofed” websites – often using URL addresses similar to those of...

Read More

Cybercrime Still Growing: Phishing and Business Email Compromise Lead The Way

Cybercrime led to $3.5 billion in losses in the U.S. last year, with a sharp uptick in business email compromise scams – which accounted for nearly half those losses, according to a newly released FBI Internet Crime Report, which is based on complaints the FBI received. Donna Gregory, the head of the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center, emphasizes that the FBI isn’t seeing a ton of new types of fraud but rather criminals using new...

Read More

COVID-19 Ransomware Piles on to Seasonal Spike

Attackers are continuing to use concerns over COVID-19 to distribute ransomware and malware, including for smartphones. The healthcare sector continues to be the largest single target of cybercriminals, and they are exploiting the current situation. Culprits behind such attacks include cybercrime operators looking to make a fast buck as well as nation-states seeking to sow chaos. These attacks are hitting all levels of the U.S. healthcare...

Read More

Health Data Breach Tally: Trends in 2019

As of early December, the HHS “Wall of Shame” shows that 462 major health data breaches affecting a total of nearly 41 million individuals have been logged in 2019. By the numbers: • 272 breaches were reported as hacking/IT incidents, affecting a total of nearly 36 million people, accounting for approximately 88 percent of people affected by breaches. • 136 breaches were reported as “unauthorized access/disclosure” breaches,...

Read More

8 Tips on Giving Patients Access to Their Records

HHS Points to Ways to Improve Compliance With HIPAA Requirements   Under the HIPAA Privacy Rule, patients and their authorized representatives have the right to access their electronic or paper health records. Unfortunately it’s often easier said than done, and federal regulators want that to change. Complaints from patients about the lack of access to their records have remained consistently among the top five issues in HIPAA cases that...

Read More

How Vulnerable Are Your ATMs?

Attackers are increasingly hacking into banks’ networks to gain access to the IT infrastructure connected to their ATMs. They then push malware onto the ATMs that allows a low-level gang member to walk up and enter a preset numerical sequence into the ATM to make it dispense all of its money in what’s known as a “jackpotting” or “cashing out” attack. Such attacks also allow them to steal card data from ATM...

Read More

More ACH Changes Coming September 2017

The business world continues to evolve and banking is no different. There are two new rule changes being implemented in September this year. Beginning September 15, 2017, Same Day ACH will be available for debit entries, enabling the same-day processing of virtually any ACH payment. The Rule enables the option for same-day ACH payments through additional ACH Network functionality, without affecting previously available ACH schedules and...

Read More

Cyberattacks Fuel 2017’s Biggest Breaches

With the exception of one large insider theft, hacker attacks, some involving ransomware, continue to be the method of choice behind the biggest health data breaches reported so far this year to federal regulators. As of July 3rd, 149 breaches affecting nearly 2.7 million people have been reported to the Department of Health and Human Services’ ‘wall of shame’. Of those 2017 breaches, 53 are listed as hacking/IT incidents. Even though...

Read More

Mississippi Medicaid Website Transmitted Unencrypted Email

Unsecure Email Incident a Reminder of Risks to PHI A breach report involving the transmission of protected health information via unencrypted email offers a reminder of the need to pay attention to safeguarding PHI no matter where it resides, including website forms used to collect information and smartphone apps. According to the HHS “Wall of Shame”, the Mississippi Division of Medicaid reported on May 26, 2017 to the U.S. Department of Health...

Read More

Changes to FFIEC Cybersecurity Tool help banks meet baseline.

A just released update to the Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council’s Cybersecurity Assessment Tool will should help make meeting regulators’ demands for “baseline” cybersecurity more attainable. The changes only impact Appendix A of the tool but those changes make a difference for smaller institutions. For example, many smaller institutions were not able to meet the tool’s requirement for having a...

Read More

Phishing Incident Leads to $400,000 HIPAA Settlement

HIPAA Enforcement Agency Cites Lack of Timely Risk Analysis, Again Colorado-based Metro Community Provider Network is just another healthcare entity to learn a painful lesson from the Department of Health and Human Services Office for Civil Rights regarding the importance of conducting a timely and comprehensive risk assessment. The breach was reported in early 2012 after a hacker accessed employees’ email accounts and obtained 3,200...

Read More

Messaging Apps Create New Privacy Headaches for Banks

Many businesses have benefitted from the proliferation of mobile devices and text messaging apps that facilitate quick, round-the-clock communications. However, these technologies can make it difficult to monitor and control the unauthorized distribution of confidential data. This is critically important in highly regulated industries like banking. To give you an idea of how messaging apps have caused headaches for banks, on March 30, UK...

Read More

Texas Ransomware Attack Highlights Need For Legacy Data Protection

A ransomware attack on a Texas urology practice that could potentially affect nearly 280,000 patients ranks as one of the largest health data breaches of 2017. On January 22nd Urology Austin, suffered a ransomware attack that encrypted data stored on its servers. Among the information impacted by the ransomware were names, addresses, birthdates, SSN’s, and medical information. Their mitigation effort included restoring data from backups and...

Read More

New Phone Scam Is Deceptively Simple

Don’t pick up the phone to answer calls from unknown numbers. Instead, let them go to voicemail. While many of us do that anyway, that’s now the FCC’s advice to all Americans in response to an ongoing series of attacks designed to trick victims into uttering a single word. According to a March 27th alert, this scam centers on tricking victims into saying the word “yes,” which criminals record and later use to attempt to...

Read More

What auditors are focusing on: Desk Audits

HHS Office of Civil Rights (OCR) is now completing reports of audits performed in 2016 and distributing reports. Once the report is received, organizations have 10 days to respond. The following is an overview of a small clinic that was subject to a Privacy Audit by the OCR. This was a desk audit, meaning that the auditors did not come on-site and all information was provided to the OCR by uploading documents to a portal. While a desk audit...

Read More

Another Data Breach Highlights Need For Phishing Training

On March 6th, the Silicon Valley firm, Coupa, fell victim to a phishing attack that compromised the personal information of employees who worked for them in 2016. A scammer impersonated the company’s CEO and requested that payroll information (Form W-2) for the 2016 tax year be sent via email. Fraudsters continue to increase the number of W-2 phishing scams, also known as business email compromise – BEC – or CEO fraud attacks. These...

Read More