When hackers gained access to Solara email accounts, they extracted employee and patient information. Solara is a medical device provider based in Chula Vista and maintains highly sensitive personal information about patients. Although the company has taken steps to prevent future attacks, people caught up in last year’s hack are still at risk and need to carefully monitor the Dark Web to see if their information is for sale.
1. 20 Texas cities attacked by ransomware
The City of Borger, along with 20 other Texas municipalities, recently suffered a ransomware attack that disabled the city’s ability to conduct business. The attack was part of a targeted effort, and it cut off access to basic city services like public records, bill payments and communications systems. The city has been able to restore several functions without paying the ransom, but several services remain unavailable.
Many public entities such as cities and counties struggle to implement adequate cyber security solutions. DiamondIT works closely with municipalities to manage their networks within restrained budgets and long planning cycles.
If history is any guide, we could be seeing more news articles about ransomware attacks in early 2020. On January 14, 2020, Microsoft Windows 7 and Server 2008 will enter end-of-support. Microsoft will stop offering security patches, leaving any organization running these systems exposed to cyberthreats. An infamous example of what can go wrong is the May 2017 WannaCry attack.
WannaCry: A Microsoft End-of-Support Worst-Case Scenario
On May 12, 2017, the National Health Service (NHS) in the United Kingdom was paralyzed by a ransomware attack when cybercriminals exploited a flaw in WindowsXP. Support for WindowsXP had ended in April 2014, but the NHS continued relying on the system.
The adage “lightning never strikes the same place twice” doesn’t apply to cyberattacks. The experience of our client John Balfanz Homes, a premier homebuilder based in Bakersfield, illustrates why.
Saved by the backup
The first attack took place right after we completed offsite backups as part of our BackupCentric solution and as we were setting up SecureCentric, our next-generation security stack. Before SecureCentric was completely installed, a cryptocurrency attack encrypted the builder’s on-premise servers. Because we had offsite backups, we were able to restore files without paying ransomware.
The incident grabbed the owner’s attention, and he asked what else he could be doing. We assured him with SecureCentric and BackupCentric fully installed, he had the right tools in place. Our promise was tested a few months later.
Now that we are a few months into 2018, security analysts are able to look back on 2017 and analyze leading cybersecurity trends. Not surprisingly, according to the Cisco 2018 Annual Cybersecurity report, there was an elevenfold increase in malware last year.
“Adversaries are becoming more adept at evasion— and weaponizing cloud services and other technology used for legitimate purposes,” the report declares.
The following are some of the major cybersecurity trends of 2017:
Ransomware Families Up 32%, Total Ransomware Threats Down 41%
According to Dark Reading, the growth in ransomware attacks hit a plateau, while the number of ransomware families rose considerably. As cybercriminals become more adept in targeting individuals and organizations, the variety of ransomware attacks are evolving. Not surprisingly, the WannaCry variant dominated the landscape – making up 57% of all ransomware detected last year.
The 911 Call Centers have become a symbol of rescue and hope. But in recent months, that very symbol of safety is under attack in such cities such as Baltimore, Atlanta and Seattle. Ransomware and denial-of-service attacks are targeting these 911 centers, forcing some cities to “write down” emergency calls — pushing the system back 50 years or so.