Week 38 Cyberattack Digest 2019 – Novaestrat, Cheers Exhibition, Lee County and others
We hope you have been waiting for our new cyberattack digest 2019 week 38, so here it comes.
The most massive data leakage of Ecuador
by SC Media – 18 September, 2019
An executive of data analytics firm Novaestrat has been detained by the police of Ecuador. According to the Ecuadorian officials, William Roberto Gwhich was responsible for the massive data leak, which had impacted most of population of the country. As part of the official investigation, the man is being questioned after vpnMentor exposed the giant data breach, which can be characterized as the largest one in Ecuador’s history. The unsecured server itself was located in Miami, Florida.
The case took place as an Elasticsearch server was left exposed online without a password containing the personal records of millions of Ecuadorians. This also included data of 6.7 million children. Researchers of vpnMentor concluded that the database of about 18GB of data stored over 20.8 million records. The records contained such details as full name, gender, age and residence, official and personal and mobile phone numbers, family details and levels of education.
“Although the exact details remain unclear, the leaked database appears to contain information obtained from outside sources. These sources may include Ecuadorian government registries, an automotive association called Aeade, and Biess, an Ecuadorian national bank,” the report says.
Dubai-based firm falls victim to a phishing attack
by ArabianBusiness.com – 22 September, 2019
Aт exhibitions company from Dubai has recently became a victim of a phishing attack. As a result, the firm lost $53,000 (Dh194,700). Binu Manaf, CEO and managing director of Cheers Exhibition, revealed that a malefactor performed an attack on his firm’s email system and used a spoofed email to trick one of its clients to wire the funds into an overseas bank.
“This is not a crude phishing attack, but one which involves a high level of sophistication,” Manaf said. A client from Russia unconsciously passed $53,000 to the overseas account.
“As it turned out, our email had been hacked. Unknown to us, a cybercriminal had been scouring through all our correspondence containing details of ongoing contracts and outstanding payments,” he said.
Lee County government’s website goes offline
by Naples Daily News – 20 September, 2019
Lee County government’s main website has been brought down by cyberattackers.
“We get attacks every day. This type of breach is pretty unusual,” said Lee Manager Roger Desjarlais. The investigation is still ongoing, and there are not many details known about the incident.
“We’re trying to identify what’s happening, who’s going after us, and we’re going to solve the problem,” commented Brian Hamman, acting chairman of the County Commission. “The county is actively taking steps to protect any sensitive information that we do have at the county here, and we’re trying to protect, obviously, all of the data, our infrastructure that we have from an IT standpoint.”
Stratford city hall pays $75,000 to hackers
by Stratfort Beacon Herald – 20 September, 2019
As a result of a cyberattack, Stratford city hall was forced to pay $75,000 in Bitcoin. The incident demonstrates that the local government wasn’t protected properly and the incident should should be insightful for other municipalities.
According to city hall officials, they had to pay 10 Bitcoins, which is a digital currency used to make online transactions, on the so-called dark web. The cyberattack itself happened on the April 14. The cyberattack was characterized as a ransomware. According to city hall documents, a hacker accessed eight city government computer servers and executed malware on them.
“In the ideal world, nobody would have to pay one red cent in the wake of a ransomware attack because they will have already secured their data elsewhere,” says tech analyst Carmi Levy from London.
“The fact Stratford self-compelled to pay means they weren’t backing their data properly, they weren’t testing restores and they were leaving themselves vulnerable and they got caught.”