A Web Privacy Research Group Discovers Data Breaches In Two Indian Fintech Startups




Data breaches in two Indian fintech start-ups — Credit Fair and Chqbook were recently discovered by a web privacy research group called vpnMentor. While the former start-up has all to deal with online shopping credit to customers the latter is a finance marketplace which associates customers to credit cards, and personal loans providers.

The research group's team found that "both Credit Fair and Chqbook’s entire databases were unprotected and unencrypted. Credit Fair uses a Mongo Database, while Chqbook uses Elastic Search, neither of which were protected with any password or firewall.”

With regards to Chqbook, the research group 'claimed' to have accessed 67 GB of user information including sensitive data, like the user's telephone number, address , email, Credit card number, expiry date, transaction history, plain text passwords, gender, income and employment profile among other fields.

However, Vipul Sharma the founder of Chqbook denied the research group's claim that 67 GB of user data was comprised, rather he said that 'Chqbook does not have that much volume of data.'

In the case of Credit Fair, the research group said it was able to extract 44K user records containing fields, like phone number, detailed information of their loan applications, PAN number, IP address, session tokens, Aadhaar number, and more.

The 'lending company' as of now has still not fixed the issue as per the research group's post of July 31.

This is however not the first case of data breach in Indian start-ups, numerous well-known start-ups across various sectors have experienced at least one situation of data breach. Some recent ones include: Truecaller, Justdial, EarlySalary, Ixigo, FreshMenu, and Zomato.

Hence keeping in mind the ever expanding number of data breaches in the nation, the Indian government has begun observing the situation with a much serious eye that too at a policy level and in July, an high-level panel headed by Justice B.N Srikrishna submitted its recommendations and the draft Personal Data Protection Bill 2018 to IT minister Ravi Shankar Prasad.

Hopefully the Government's stance on requiring every single sensitive information of Indian users to be put away or stored locally to guarantee that the information is easily auditable will be viable this time.


Capital One Data Breach, Hacker gets Access to 100 Million Accounts


A massive data breach to Capital One servers compromised the personal details of an estimated 106 million bank customers and applicants across Canada and the US.

The suspected hacker, Paige Thompson, 33, has been arrested by FBI on Monday. She has shared details about the data breach on a GitHub page earlier in April, according to the criminal complaints.

Thompson broke into a Capital One server and illegally acquired access to customers' names, addresses, credit limit, contact numbers, balances, credit score, and other related data.

According to the documents, the 33-year-old, Seattle resident gained access to 80,000 bank account numbers, 1 million Canadian Social Insurance numbers, and 140,000 Social Security numbers.

Thompson who had previously worked with Amazon Web Services as a software engineer was able to access the data by exploiting a misconfigured web application firewall in company's infrastructure, as per a court filing.

Despite the magnitude of the breach, "no credit card account numbers or log-in credentials were compromised and over 99% of Social Security numbers were not compromised," the company told.

Expressing concern over the matter, Chairman Richard Fairbank, said, "While I am grateful that he perpetrator has been aught, I am deeply sorry for what has happened.

"I sincerely apologize for the understandable worry this incident must be causing those affected and I am committed to making it right," he assured.

Meanwhile, the company is notifying the victims and aiding them with identity protection and free credit monitoring.




Researchers found Third-Party costs the Healthcare Industry $23.7 Billion a Year






The average cost of a data breach has increased to 12% over the past five years to US$3.92 million, according to a report sponsored by tech giant IBM.

The report released by Censinet and the Ponemon Institute which was funded by IBM, conducted research on more than 500 companies around the world that suffered a breach over the past year.

According to the report, 72 percent of respondents believe that the increasing dependence on third party medical devices to the network is most risky, while 68 percent say connecting medical devices to the internet increases the risk of cyberattack. 

“This research confirms that healthcare providers require a better, more cost-effective approach to third-party risk management,” said Ed Gaudet, CEO, and founder of Censinet. “The adoption of technology in healthcare is more rapid and complicated than ever before. As an industry, we must help providers safely enable cloud applications and medical devices optimized to deliver the quality of care hospitals and their patients expect.”

In India, on an average, 35,636 records were compromised in a data breach, and cost ₹12.8 crore to organizations from July 2018 and April 2019,


“It’s clear that healthcare providers are in a tough spot. The number of vendors they rely on is increasing at the same time the threats those vendors pose are escalating in frequency and severity, so it’s easy to see how managing these risks has become an overwhelming problem,” said Dr. Ponemon, chairman and founder of the Ponemon Institute. “But it’s not all bad news – we can very clearly see an opportunity with automation for healthcare providers to monitor, measure, and mitigate the scourge of third-party breaches that continues to plague their industry.”


Equifax Paying Settlement around $700 Million after Massive Data Breach


Almost two years ago, Equifax suffered a massive data breach which exposed a significant amount of sensitive data of over 143 million Americans, the compromised information included that of driving licenses, social security numbers, and addresses of the victims. 

It has been uncovered by The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times that the consumer credit reporting agency is closing in on a settlement with FTC, state attorneys general, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau along with state and federal agencies. Equifax could settle up with $650 to $700 million, out of which it has put aside $690 million for the purpose of penalty. 

As per the media findings, the amount is expected to differ on the basis of the number of people filing claims and the details of the same will be released on Monday.

Notably, the settlement entails terms to devise a separate fund for the purpose of settlement, however, the amount victim's could expect in compensation is still a matter of question.

Commenting on the matter, Equifax CEO, Richard Smith, said, “At this critical juncture, I believe it is in the best interests of the company to have new leadership to move the company forward,” as he decided to retire in the wake of the cyberattack. 




Logins and passwords of users of the Russian online store Ozon leaked to the Internet


The database including more than 450 thousand e-mail addresses and user passwords from accounts of the Russian online store Ozon was found on one of the sites that collect data leaks.

According to journalists, the leak occurred six months ago, but the company did not declare it. The found database combines two other bases, the originals of which were found on one of the hacker forums in November 2018.

As it turned out, a massive data leak could occur in three cases: data theft by an Ozon employee, an attack by a hacker who got inside the organization, or an incorrectly configured external server that opened unauthorized access to the database to anyone.

It is interesting to note that in 450 thousand of published logins and passwords, the number of data belonging to users of the company does not exceed a few percents.

"At the same time, most of the discovered accounts are inactive, that is, they have not been used for a long time," the company said.

Ozon explained that after the leak became known, compromised passwords were reset, and users were notified of the incident.

The official representative of Roskomnadzor (The Federal Service for Supervision of Communications, Information Technology and Mass Media) Vadim Ampelonsky said that Roskomnadzor intends to obtain explanations from the online store Ozon due to the leakage of user data.

Ampelonsky noted that Roskomnadzor is concerned about the actions of Ozon under the circumstances, as the online store did not notify in a timely manner about this situation, which threatened the safety of customers.

According to the official representative of Roskomnadzor, the e-mail address and password not only allows access to the user's account, but also allows to collect personal information and to act on his behalf.

The press Secretary of Roskomnadzor said that at the moment Russian laws do not oblige to notify the Supervisory authority about leaks, but now the relevant regulatory documents are being developed.

One Plus found leaking user data

Chinese smartphone brand OnePlus has been reportedly leaking data of OnePlus phone users for years. According to a report by 9to5 Google, OnePlus has been ‘unknowingly’ leaking crucial personal information of its users publicly for quite a considerable amount of time and it is only when the major security flaw was pointed out to the company recently that it has started to investigate. Here is everything you must know about this breach in privacy.
According to the report, OnePlus has been leaking names and email addresses of hundreds of its users, through the ‘Shot on OnePlus’ application that allegedly carries a security flaw. The app offers you a place to upload photos taken by your OnePlus device to be featured as wallpapers by OnePlus users globally.
As the name suggests, ‘Shot on OnePlus’ allows users to upload their photos from the phone or from a website (for which they need to be logged in to the OnePlus account) and set user-submitted photos as their wallpaper. Users can also adjust their profile, including their name, country, and email address from the app and the website. OnePlus chooses one photo every day to feature in the app and on the website. According to 9to5Google, the API OnePlus used to make a link between their server and the app was “fairly easy to access” despite carrying private information about users. It said anyone with an access token could “do most actions” with the API. An API, or Application Programming Interface, is a software intermediary that allows two applications to talk to each other.

9to5Google said it discovered the “somewhat major” vulnerability in the API OnePlus uses for the app a couple of months ago, and that the company had already fixed it. It said it was unclear for how long users’ data had been leaking in this way, but believed it had been happening since the launch of the ‘Shot on OnePlus’ app many years ago.

The leak was reported taking place because of a flaw which was communicated to the company in early May but hasn’t been completely patched despite a fix being rolled out.

Data Leakage in the Federal portal of public services exposes the personal data of millions of Russians

Details of passport, social security number and employment data of 2.24 million Russian citizens were publicly available. Ivan Begtin, the Chairman of the Data Markets Association was discovered this leak. He analyzed the information of the largest Russian electronic trading platforms, where commercial purchases and public procurement are placed, and where important data was publicly available.

Begtin checked 562 thousand records of ZakazRF, 550 thousand records of RTS-tender, as well as records of Sberbank AST and other major Russian electronic trading platforms. Confidential information was in the public domain on each of the websites.

According to the Chairman of the Data Markets Association, the error occurred due to the illiteracy of developers and inaccuracies in the legislation. In his opinion, decisions on approval of major transactions should be published in the public domain by law. These documents often contain personal data. Second, the electronic signature that customers and suppliers use contains data about the name, e-mail and social security number.

Konstantin Bochkarev, the legal advisor of CMS, said that the disclosure of passport data may result in criminal liability for violation of privacy. According to him, there were examples when the phone number was recognized as a personal or family secret in practice of the Moscow city court.

Experts believe that the developers have violated the law "On personal data". The data can be removed by Federal Service for Supervision in the Sphere of Telecom, Information Technologies and Mass Communications (Roskomnadzor) on the request of an individual or media reports.

At the moment, Roskomnadzor has already sent to the electronic trading platforms requests for the disclosure of personal data of more than 2 million bidders.

It is interesting to note that Google said in December that the data of 52.5 million people started to be publicly available due to an error in the Google+ service. Applications independently requested data on age, name and e-mail. The company assured that the card data and other personal data were not available to the application.

Data breach at University Of Alaska exposes personal information of students online



A Data breach incident at the University of Alaska  has compromised the personal information of students and other individuals. The university allegedly faced online data breach to its database which exposed several sensitive informations including personal information of teachers and other officials. The news came out in public after university disclosed the incident notice on their website.

In February 2018, some of the users of University’s website reported change of passwords and unauthorised access to their accounts, the University of Alaska started the investigation and later found out that their have been several incidences of data breach, exposing various personal informations of users.

According to an university investigating official “On or around March 28, 2018, the investigation determined that an unauthorized user also may have accessed certain email accounts between January 31, 2018, and February 15, 2018.”, he further added, “It may include an individual’s name, government issued identification number, date of birth, digital signature, driver’s license number, usernames and/or passwords, financial account numbers, health and/or health insurance information, passport number, and UA student identification number. For certain individuals, Social Security number may also have been present in the affected email accounts.”

After discovering the data breach incident, the University took action to prevent further damage, they took external experts to handle the investigation and are determined to find out the extent of the damage, They don’t have specific number of users affected by the incident.

There has been similar data breach incident earlier this month at Georgia Institute of Technology. Allegedly in the incident millions of records containing information of students and staff were exposed online.


Docker Hub hack leaked sensitive data of 190,000 users




An unauthorized access to a database was discovered by the Docker Hub that exposed sensitive data of more than 190,000 account holders. 

The exposed informations include username, hashed passwords, tokens for GitHub and Bitbucket repositories.

The company started emailing its customers about the security breach soon after the breach took place. However, it is unclear how hackers got a hold over a single database.

"On Thursday, April 25th, 2019, we discovered unauthorized access to a single Hub database storing a subset of non-financial user data," said Kent Lamb, Director of Docker Support.

Docker is recommending all  its users to change their password. All the impacted accounts GitHub tokens and access keys, so the user’s with auto builds are impacted.

Docker hub is the cloud repository of images created by users, and it could be downloaded by other users or images created by other communities.

“We are enhancing our overall security processes and reviewing our policies. Additional monitoring tools are now in place. Our investigation is still ongoing, and we will share more information as it becomes available,” reads breach report. 



Docker Hub hack exposes sensitive data of 190,000 users

                                                                   

An unauthorized person gained access to a Docker Hub database that exposed sensitive information for approximately 190,000 users. Docker says the hacker had access to this database only for a short moment and the data accessed is only five percent of Docker Hub's entire userbase.

This information included some usernames and hashed passwords, as well as tokens for GitHub and Bitbucket repositories used for Docker autobuilds.

GitHub and Bitbucket access tokens stored in Docker Hub allow developers to modify their project's code and have it automatically build, or autobuild, the image on Docker Hub. If a third-party gains access to these tokens, though, it would allow them to gain access to a private repositories code and possibly modify it depending on the permissions stored in the token.

Docker Hub lost keys and tokens which could have downstream effects if hackers used them to access source code at big companies.

Docker Hub is the official repository for Docker container images. It makes software tools for programmers and developers.

According to a security notice sent late Friday night, Docker became aware of unauthorized access to a Docker Hub database on April 25th, 2019.

Docker disclosed the breach in an email to customers and users of Docker Hub, its cloud-based service that’s used by several companies and thousands of developers all over the world. In the email, obtained by Motherboard, Docker said that the stolen data includes “usernames and hashed passwords for a small percentage of these users, as well as Github and Bitbucket tokens for Docker autobuilds.”

"On Thursday, April 25th, 2019, we discovered unauthorized access to a single Hub database storing a subset of non-financial user data," said Kent Lamb, Director of Docker Support.

Experts Motherboard spoke to said that, in a worst-case scenario, the hackers would have been able to access proprietary source code from some of those accounts. Specifically, Docker allows developers to run software packages known as “containers.” It is used by some of the largest tech companies in the world, though it is not yet publicly known what information was accessed and which companies’ accounts were affected.

Aadhar Data of More Than 2 Crore Punjab Residents Found on Hard Disks



The ongoing investigation by The Special Investigation Team (SIT) on the Aadhaar data theft of around 7.82 crore people residing in Telangana and Andra Pradesh has led to the discovery of a hard disk containing the Aadhaar data of 2 crore Punjab residents, as per The Tribune reporting.

The hard disk containing data has been recovered from a Hyderabad based IT company, It Grids (India) Pvt Ltd and consequently it has been registered for unlawfully possessing the Aadhaar data of 7.8 crore residents and exploiting the same. The company is also known for building the official TDP app, "Seva Mitra".

With the further discovery of 2 crore Aadhaar data records, the breach which initially estimated around 7.8 crores, went up to 9.8 crores. The investigating agency is looking into the obvious question which arises— why would a Hyderabad based IT company want to store Aadhaar data of Punjab residents? Notably, the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) has already reasserted the secure condition of its data servers. Though UIDAI  stood strong for the security of its servers, Police seemed to have contrasting opinions and filed a case where the theft of Aadhaar data has been proven scientifically.

Defending their stand, “Mere possession and storage of Aadhaar numbers of people, though it maybe an offense under the Aadhaar Act under some circumstances, does not put the Aadhaar holders under any harm in any manner whatsoever. For accessing any Aadhaar-based service, biometrics or one-time password (OTP) is also needed,” the UIDAI said.


Hacker uploads about 1 billion user data in 2 months

A serial hacker who goes by the name of Gnosticplayers has released another 65.5 million records of users last week taking his grand total of 932 million records overall, with the consequences of the data pool as yet unknown. Since mid-February, Gnosticplayers has been putting batches of hacked data on Dream Market, which is a dark web marketplace for selling illegal products like hacking tools guns and drugs.

"The hacker's name is Gnosticplayers, and he's responsible for the hacks of 44 companies, including last week's revelations," the ZDNet reported late on Monday. The names of big companies that were hit included UnderArmor, 500px, ShareThis, MyHeritage and GfyCat. The releases have been grouped in four rounds -- Round 1 (620 million user records), Round 2 (127 million user records), Round 3 (93 million user records), and Round 4 (26.5 million user records).

"Last week, the hacker notified ZDNet about his latest release -- Round 5 -- containing the data of 65.5 million users, which the hacker claims to have been taken from six companies: gaming platform Mindjolt, digital mall Wanelo, e-invitations and RSVP platform Evite, South Korean travel company Yanolja, women's fashion store Moda Operandi, and Apple repair center iCracked," the report added.

Earlier in March, the serial hacker stole and posted personal data of close to 843 million users of various popular websites. The companies impacted include GameSalad, Estante Virtual, Coubic, LifeBear, Bukalapak and Youthmanual.

Facebook leaves passwords unencrypted



Facebook said there is no evidence its employees abused access to this data. The company said the passwords were stored on internal company servers, where no outsiders could access them. However, privacy experts suggested that users change their passwords.

The security slip left the passwords readable by the social networking giant's employees.

The issue was first reported by security researcher Brian Krebs, who published a blog post-Thursday detailing that Facebook employees built applications that captured the passwords of users and stored them as plain text, meaning a password would be readable just the same as it is entered to log in.

The blunder was uncovered during a routine security review early this year, according to Canahuati.

"To be clear, these passwords were never visible to anyone outside of Facebook and we have found no evidence to date that anyone internally abused or improperly accessed them," vice president of engineering, security, and privacy Pedro Canahuati said.

"As part of a routine security review in January, we found that some user passwords were being stored in a readable format within our internal data storage systems," Pedro Canahuati, vice president of engineering for security and privacy at Facebook, wrote in a blog post. "This caught our attention because our login systems are designed to mask passwords using techniques that make them unreadable."

Most companies encrypt passwords to prevent them from being stolen in the event of a data breach or used for nefarious purposes by company employees.

The incident reveals yet another huge and basic oversight at a company that insists it is a responsible guardian for the personal data of its 2.3 billion users worldwide.

By storing passwords in readable plain text, Facebook violated fundamental computer-security practices. Those call for organizations and websites to save passwords in a scrambled form that makes it almost impossible to recover the original text. The blunder was uncovered during a routine security review early this year, according to Canahuati. 

Citrix Discloses Data Breach By International Cyber Criminals


An enormous data breach by "international cyber criminals" of the famous enterprise software company Citrix was unveiled a weekend ago, reporting the breach of its internal network.

The software company which is known to provide its services, especially to the U.S. military, the FBI, numerous U.S. organizations, and different U.S. government offices was cautioned by the FBI of foreign hackers compromising its IT systems and sneak "business documents," likewise including that the company did not know exactly which records and documents the hackers acquired nor how they even got in, in the first place.

In a blog post Citrix says that, “While not confirmed, the FBI has advised that the hackers likely used a tactic known as password spraying, a technique that exploits weak passwords. Once they gained a foothold with limited access, they worked to circumvent additional layers of security...”
"Password spraying” is an attack where the attackers surmise weak passwords to pick up an early toehold in the company's system in order to launch more extensive attacks.

The enormous data breach at Citrix has been distinguished as a part of "a sophisticated cyber espionage campaign supported by nation-state due to strong targeting on government, military-industrial complex, energy companies, financial institutions and large enterprises involved in critical areas of the economy," said Rescurity, an infosec firm in a blog post.

The researchers at Resecurity shed all the more light on the episode when Citrix refused to disclose the numerous insights regarding the breach, guaranteeing that it had prior cautioned the Feds and Citrix about the "targeted attack and data breach."

In spite of the fact that Resecurity says that the Iranian-backed IRIDIUM hacker group hit Citrix in December a year ago and yet again on Monday i.e. the 4th of March and purportedly stole approximately 6 terabytes of sensitive internal files including messages, emails, blueprints and various other documents as well.

While this Florida-based company focused on the fact that there was no sign that the hackers bargained any Citrix product or service, and that it propelled a "forensic investigation," procured the best cyber security company, and took "actions" to skilfully secure its internal network.


Since the consequences of the Citrix 'security incident' are grave and they could influence a more extensive scope of targets, as the company holds sensitive data on other companies as well, including critical infrastructure, government and enterprises, therefore,  strict measures will be thusly taken to secure it inside-out.


Enterprise VPN Provider Citrix, Hacked; 6TB of Sensitive Data Stolen



Enterprise VPN provider, Citrix, was subjected to a hack which is doubted to have stolen private data pertaining to the company’s technology.

On Friday, Citrix told that FBI informed them about "international cyber criminals" working their way into the organization’s networks.

They were further told that most probably the criminals resorted to the technique of “password spraying” to break into the company’s networks. They did do by appropriately guessing the password to an account which belongs to the company.

The hackers involved are reported to be a part of an Iranian Hacking group which has attacked over 200 companies, along with multiple government agencies, technology firms and gas, and oil companies.

Referenced from a blog post by Resecurity, the cybersecurity firm contacted Citrix in an attempt to warn them about the hack which was on the way.

And, while refraining from telling the origins of the source from where the firm learned of the hack, it said that it "has shared the acquired intelligence with law enforcement and partners for mitigation."

While FBI denied commenting on the matter, Resecurity drew a connection between the hackers and a nation state, "due to strong targeting on government, military-industrial complex, energy companies, financial institutions and large enterprises involved in critical areas of economy."

Citrix expressed a probability of business documents being acquired and downloaded by the attackers and told in a notice, "The specific documents that may have been accessed, however, are currently unknown."

"Citrix has taken action to contain this incident. We commenced a forensic investigation; engaged a leading cybersecurity firm to assist; took actions to secure our internal network; and continue to cooperate with the FBI," the company further included in the notice.



Asia Pacific is No 1 hunting ground for hackers

Global data from last year found that 64 per cent of all FireEye-managed detection and response customers were targeted again by the same or similarly motivated attack group -- up from 56 per cent in 2017 and Asia Pacific tops the list of malware report for 2019.

As organisations get better at detecting data breaches, hackers have become increasingly persistent, retargeting the firms they earlier broke into, US-based cybersecurity firm FireEye said on Monday.

A US-headquartered firm, Malwarebytes estimated an increase of 270% of malware detections amongst business in the Asia-Pacific region.

The financial services sector was seen to have the largest number of retargeted victims in 2018, particularly in the Asia-Pacific region, revealed the "FireEye 2019 Mandiant M-Trends Report". This trend is particularly relevant for the Indian market, given last year's cyber attack incidents at Cosmos Bank and State Bank of Mauritius.

Among the top ten countries that pose the biggest threat to malware, Asia Pacific tops the list with five countries.

Country                                          Biggest Threat

1. United States                              Information Theft
2. Indonesia                                    Backdoors
3. United Kingdom                         Information Theft
4. France                                         Information Theft
5. Malaysia                                     Backdoors
6. Thailand                                      Backdoors
7. Australia                                     Cryptomining
8. Germany                                     Information Theft
9. Brazil                                          Adware
10. Philippines                                Information Theft

"I encourage Indian firms to reassess their security posture and determine whether they can quickly detect and respond to intrusions," said Steve Ledzian, Vice President and APAC CTO, FireEye.

The Indian businesses must also determine whether "they know who is likely to attack them and how, and whether they have tested their security against human attackers in a red team scenario to try to spot weaknesses before their real world adversaries do," Ledzian said in a statement.

Singapore, a prized target

In Singapore alone, Malwarebytes saw a 180% increase in malware detections amongst the business sectors.

In the meantime, organisations appear to be getting better at discovering breaches internally, rather than being notified by an outside source such as law enforcement.

Hackers Targeting Retail Websites and Online Shoppers via Formjacking



With the advent of online shopping, the e-commerce market has skyrocketed and by 2022, the figures are expected to touch a whopping $150 billion. The ever-expanding arena of e-shopping has given cybercriminals even more reasons to exploit user data employing all new ways. The most recent hacking method which affects online shoppers is known as ‘Formjacking’.

What is Formjacking?

It is a virtual ATM skimming method which is employed by cybercriminals to insert malicious codes into retail websites. These codes are programmed to leak payment details of the shoppers along with their card details.

A report from Symantec suggests that every month, over 4,800 different websites fall prey to Formjacking. It has also been observed that the number of Formjacking attacks has been increased over the past year and the data is also being sold on the dark web.
Referencing from the report, “By conservative estimates, cybercriminals may have collected tens of millions of dollars last year, stealing consumers’ financial and personal information through credit card fraud and sales on the dark web, with a single credit card fetching up to $45 in the underground selling forums,”
Expressing concern on the matter, Greg Clark, CEO, Symantec, said “Formjacking represents a serious threat for both businesses and consumers,”
 “Consumers have no way to know if they are visiting an infected online retailer without using a comprehensive security solution, leaving their valuable personal and financial information vulnerable to potentially devastating identity theft. For enterprises, the skyrocketing increase in Formjacking reflects the growing risk of supply chain attacks, not to mention the reputational and liability risks businesses face when compromised,”



Massive HIV Data Leak: Thousands of Detailed Records Compromised.












In a recent major data leak in Singapore, thousands of HIV positive people’s records were compromised.


One of the victims of this leak was informed via a phone call that her record was out in the open along with those of approx. 14,000 others.

This enormous leak came off as really shocking to people as many of them were reluctant to let the fact surface in outer world.

The main target which has emerged in this database leakage incident is the Singaporean media.

The government said that a local doctor who had an American partner, who had access to all the records in question, is the main person who’s at fault.

Reportedly, according to the authorities the leak has been contained but an extreme emotional damage has been caused to the HIV infected.

In Singapore, as mandated by the law, the aforementioned victim’s HIV status was added to the national database.

The HIV registry was set up in 1985 by the ministry of health to keep a check on the infection and potential cases’ status.

The previously mentioned database is the one which got compromised accompanied by the names and addresses of more than 14,000 people.

According to the sources the name of the American partner has been reported to be as, Mikhy Farrera-Brochez. The data and the access to the registry had been wrested from his Singaporean doctor partner.

Mikhy couldn’t work in Singapore because as the Singaporean law states so. But he got convicted of fraud because he used someone else’s blood to pass a mandatory HIV test.

According to Mikhy there is more to the story of the leakage and it’s not just him who’s behind it all. He also said that he had contracted HIV in prison and that he was denied medication.

He also blamed Singapore for using the HIV database for keeping track of gay men in the country because same-sex sex there is illegal.

To this accusation Singaporean authorities have replied negatively and cited that the statement is absolutely untrue.

Singapore’s health minister is working with the authorities of the US regarding the case.
Earlier there was a total ban on people with HIV entering the borders of Singapore, which got lifted in 2015.

But the people who have married Singaporean citizens or have permanent residencies in the country could dodge it.

This leak has come as a shock as well as emotionally degrading. This chaotic circumstance has made the citizens question the way records are kept in security.

One of the senior doctors who have been working on safeguarding the interests of the HIV patients in Singapore said that many implementations exist which restrict the doctors from accessing such records.

This incident has wreaked a lot of emotional havoc to people who are infected and whose names are in those compromised records.

The victims aren’t even sure that whether the leak has actually been contained or not.

This leaked information could ruin a lot of lives and careers for the infected.

The victims are seriously concerned about the diaspora of the detailed information and the compromised records.



Over 30 Thousand Patient Records Exposed; Third-Party Breach To Blame




Cyber-cons recently targeted another health target. ‘Managed Health Services of Indiana Health Plan’ in recent times went public regarding the third-party data breach they had gotten imperiled by, which exposed 31,000 patients’ personal details out in the open. 


This breach was the result of one of the two security incidents that the institution had to face.



There are two major healthcare programs, namely, ‘Indiana’s Hoosier Healthwise’, and ‘Hooseir Care Connect Medicaid’ which this organization runs.


The MHS were informed about the breach by one of its vendors. The information was regarding someone having illegitimately gained access to their employees’ email accounts.


Disconcertingly, according to the reports, the unauthorized accessed had occurred between the month of July and September, last year.


During the investigation initiated by the MHS, it was found out that patients’ personal data including their names, insurance ID numbers, dates of birth, dates of services provided and their addresses were all potentially out in the open.


As the investigation unfolded, it was discovered that the incident was caused due to a phishing attack on the vendor’s system.


Rapid steps were taken by the vendor to counter the attack by the aid of a computer forensic company.


Some of the information in the email accounts that were affected was laid out pretty bare to be accessed. The email accounts “hacked” were the main source of information.


The easiest trick to harvesting personal data is performing a phishing attack. The phishing attack anywhere in the entire chain could affect all the people involved.


As a result of the overall effect on the chain, 31,ooo people got affected and had their data exposed and out in the open.


 Reportedly, this has been the 4th in the list of attacks made on the health plans, that too in the last month alone.


It gets evident after such an attack, that the health-care industry exceedingly requires better management and security cyber systems.

NASA On Hack Alert: Personal Data And Servers Compromised!




NASA’s recently been victimized by a data breach on its server that laid bare Personally Identifiable Information (PII) of its former and present employees alike.



The breach surfaced as a result of an internal security audit conducted by NASA. It was realized that the social security numbers and other PII was available on the compromised server.


 It was only after a couple of months that the NASA employees were notified about the unfortunate issue, given that the security experts had gotten wise about it in the month of October.


When the employees came up with the concern regarding their stolen data, that’s when they were alerted about it all.


The matter will take a lot of looking into and is a concern of top agency priority. The examining of the servers is going on at full speed.


Needless to say, NASA and federal cyber-security are keenly trying to settle on the severity of the exfiltration and the identity theft of the possibly affected.


According to what NASA has cited, none of its missions or secret data was compromised and everything is under control. Identity protection has also been offered to those who were supposedly affected by the compromised data.


NASA has also alluded that the civil service employees of NASA who were detached from the actual agency may have been subject to this hacking attack.


Reportedly, Instantaneous efforts were made to safeguard the servers and it was affirmed that individuals’ security is being taken very sincerely; also for NASA, as its spokespersons have mentioned, data security is paramount.