Is a Data Breach going to bring down a Government?

July 29, 2017 at 8:30 pm | Posted in Cyber Security | Leave a comment
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Earlier this week news came to light that information from the Swedish Transport Agency that a database containing the registration numbers of hundreds of thousands of Swedish citizens had been subject to a data breach.

Within this data was details of if people were in a witness protection program, armed service personal and police information. In short information that should never have been accessible by non-authorised parties.

However, unlike many data breaches this was not the result of a Hack but due to a lack of awareness and proper safeguards and oversight of an outsource project. The former head of the Agency has been found guilty and fined for negligence in the handling of this project and the data by the courts.

(The Maximum penalty in Sweden is just half a months’ Salary)

Now, this has taken on a political field.

This is one of the largest data breaches ever taken please in Sweden and it has emerged that Government ministers were aware of the breach happening last year but did not inform the Prime Minister for months and that when the PM did find out, this was also kept from both Parliament and other ministers.

Now the news has broken the Ministers responsible have been fired, resigned or moved. However, the threat of no confidence remains in both the Prime Minster and the ministers still in situ as it is going to be months before the data is fully secure.

This story will rumble on over the next month or so as the Swedish parliament is in recess at the moment but it is entirely possible that as more information becomes clear then a no confidence motion in the Swedish government might pass.

White Board update 19th July

July 19, 2017 at 3:00 pm | Posted in Cyber Security | Comments Off on White Board update 19th July
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My white board at the office has gained a lot of respect and traction not only from the team but from those outside the team as well as due to its prominent place in the office it causes people to stop and look at it when walking by.

This afternoon I did a quick calculation and research into the costs and scale of the data breaches recorded on my white board. The Criteria for reaching the whiteboard is that it must be published in a large media outlet (The Times, BBC, CNN, Chicago Tribune, ABC etc) and be over a scale size of over 5000 records.

The numbers are quite astounding,

  • The Estimated cost of the Attacks and Breaches on my board is around $1 Billion Dollars.
  • Over 135 Million records have been compromised.
  • There have been six major Cyber Attacks and nine large Data Breaches.
  • Seven caused by Insider threats of some description.
  • 5 days between recorded events on Average

There are scores of other data breaches and attacks that did not meet the criteria of my white board and even more that do not go reported.

Further Data Breaches

July 10, 2017 at 5:00 pm | Posted in Cyber Security | Comments Off on Further Data Breaches
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Over the weekend there was further news of Data Breaches, with once again my number on the board of cyber security breaches has not gone above three thus far.

Last week the Guardian Australia revealed that the Australian Medicare records were compromised and available for purchase on the dark web. These records it now appear to have been stolen from an insider threat rather than a full scale Breach of the Medicare records system.

News also broke that one of India’s largest telecoms providers Reliance Jio had suffered a data breach with around 100 million of their customer’s records found online unencrypted. Investigations are ongoing but this is correct then this would be one of the largest on record.

The Largest data breach in history that is currently know is the leak of around 1.4 Billion records from River City Media. The Great Irony of this particular Data Breach Is that River City Media was one of the largest Spam Email providers on the internet.

Even the bad guys sometimes make mistakes.

Another Day Another Data Breach – Will the clock ever reach double figures?

July 4, 2017 at 4:01 pm | Posted in Cyber Security | Comments Off on Another Day Another Data Breach – Will the clock ever reach double figures?
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As mentioned previously I have a white board in a corridor at work, where I put details of the latest data breaches and cyber-attacks reported in the press.

On the board, there is a “days since” number and that number was reset again to zero this morning.

News broke in Australia that following investigations by a journalist he was able to acquire his Medicare details from the dark web. This constitutes a massive data breach of potentially five million users in Australia in a Data Breach that is still being investigated as to its scale and cause.

Meanwhile in the UK it was revealed that the AA had also suffered a Data Breach of around 100,000 users personal identifiable information including email addresses and partial credit card details was found unencrypted on a public facing server.

The cause of the AA one looks to be human error sadly and reinforces the point that human error can account for more accidents than other causes. This is the same in Cyber Security.

I find it highly doubtful that in the current climate that my white board counter will ever get above 10 days.

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