Firewall

Hacked Hospital Results in Patient Death

A hospital in Germany suffered a ransomware attack that resulted in the death of one of their patients. University Hospital of Düsseldorf Germany suffered a ransomware attack on September 9th. Hackers disabled hospital computers and caused emergency patients to be transferred to other hospitals. A female patient who was scheduled to receive a lifesaving treatment, had to be transferred to a neighboring hospital 20 miles away. German authorities are treating the incident as a negligent homicide.

This is the first recorded case of a death directly resulting from a malware attack. The BBC reports they had other near death incidents of critical care patients forced to be transferred from a hospital that had been attacked, but this was the first known death.

Phishing and malware attacks have been on the rise since the start of the pandemic. Hackers attack hospitals and medical facilities looking for sensitive personal and medical data. Hospital staff are under increased stress, and are more likely to click on something they would not normally click on, opening the doors for hackers to come in.

The hackers took advantage of well-known vulnerabilities in VPN software from Citrix. The software is used by government agencies, educational institutions, hospitals, and major corporations. Citrix patched the vulnerabilities in January, but not all businesses keep up on patching and updating. Germany’s national IT security group is assisting the hospital to recover from the incident and collect forensic data. When the hackers were informed of the outcome of their attack, they dropped the ransom and provided the decryption key before disappearing.

This is a tragic overlap of the stories we have been following all summer. We have seen malware attacks increase every month. We have seen attacks on small businesses and even cities who are often too small to keep an IT specialist on staff. Many of these businesses are large enough to house a server with client data, and a network of workstations, but are not able to support the technology after the initial investment. When vulnerabilities are found and patched, the news of these vulnerabilities is reported in the IT news industry. Hackers then go looking for computer systems that have not been updated and attempt to exploit these systems and data.

Quanexus IT Support Services for Dayton and Cincinnati

Request your free network assessment today. There is no hassle, or obligation.

If you would like more information, contact us here or call 937.885.7272.

Follow us on FacebookTwitter and LinkedIn and stay up to date on by subscribing to our email list.

Posted by Charles Wright in Cybersecurity, Information Security, Small Business

More IT Security in the News

We have seen more IT Security news stories getting mainstream attention this summer. Below are the IT Security news events we are following at Quanexus.

Adobe Releases out of Schedule Patches After Flash Announcement

After we published our blog last week about the end of Flash, Adobe released a series of patches outside of their normal schedule. Read our previous blog here. Adobe patched Flash, as well as some of their professional tools against 18 known vulnerabilities. The programs affected were Adobe After Effects, Illustrator, Premiere Pro, Premiere Rush and Audition. If you use any of these programs in the Adobe suite, be sure to update to the most recent version.

Zoom Adding More Security Defenses

The video conferencing software that has ruled during the pandemic lockdown is still catching up to its popularity. There have been multiple news stories of security breaches of Zoom meetings over the last six months while most employees and students have been working from home. Shortly after the term Zoom became part of the public lexicon, the term ‘Zoom-bombing’ did as well.

The most recent security update enables two-factor authentication (2FA) for all users, not just browser users and on September 27th, all Zoom meetings will require either a password or a waiting room. For reoccurring meetings that do not have either of these measures in place now, Zoom will add a waiting room to the meeting. If you already have one of these measures enabled on your meetings, there will be no change. You can read more about the security change here.

TikTok updates and US Buyer

TikTok is still in the news, and probably will continue to be in the near future. The attention is well deserved. TikTok skyrocketed in popularity in the US during the pandemic, and the parent company is the most valuable privately held company in the world.

TikTok patched vulnerabilities on the Android platform this week that could have given criminals the ability to take over user accounts. At the same time that news was breaking, Microsoft announced they would not be buying the social media company and released a statement emphasizing privacy and security.

“ByteDance let us know today they would not be selling TikTok’s US operations to Microsoft. We are confident our proposal would have been good for TikTok’s users, while protecting national security interests. To do this, we would have made significant changes to ensure the service met the highest standards for security, privacy, online safety, and combatting disinformation. We made these principles clear in our August statement. We look forward to seeing how the service evolves in these important areas.” ~Microsoft – September 13, 2020

The winning bid is expected to go to California based Oracle.

Quanexus IT Support Services for Dayton and Cincinnati

Request your free network assessment today. There is no hassle, or obligation.

If you would like more information, contact us here or call 937.885.7272.

Follow us on FacebookTwitter and LinkedIn and stay up to date on by subscribing to our email list.

Posted by Charles Wright in Cybersecurity, Information Security, Recent Posts, Small Business

Incident Response Planning Podcast

Podcast Episode 1 – Incident Response Planning

On this inaugural episode of the Quanexus Podcast we go in depth on Incident Response Planning. This is a topic on the top of our minds with many businesses making changes to accommodate the pandemic, and a new wave of ransomware against large US corporations.

Quanexus IT Support Services for Dayton and Cincinnati

Request your free network assessment today. There is no hassle, or obligation.

If you would like more information, contact us here or call 937.885.7272.

Follow us on FacebookTwitter and LinkedIn and stay up to date on by subscribing to our email list.

Posted by Charles Wright in Cybersecurity, Information Security, Small Business

Password Management

Back to Basics – Password Management

Passwords are a necessary evil of modern life. Today on Back-to-Basics we will cover some best practices of password selection and management. Quanexus recommends a 25 character password that does not contain words found in dictionaries. We also don’t use names, birthdays, or anniversary dates, because these can be easily found on social media. On top of these parameters, passwords should not be used for more than one service.

We understand this is cumbersome, and studies have shown that extreme password policies reduce productivity in business. So where is the middle ground between an absolutely uncrackable password for each individual login, and reality?

  1. Password Mangers:

    There are tools on the market that create long and complex passwords for each individual login, and then manage these passwords for you. LastPass, and 1Password are two trusted services, and both provide browser and mobile services. The issue with these, of course, is if the hacker social engineers, or guesses your password to get into the password manager, then they have access to all of your passwords. However, with a strong password to log into the service, this is a very secure option.

  1. Password Reuse:

    At the very least a user should not use the same passwords for personal logins that they do for business logins. Of course, the business has no way of checking this, but it should be outlined strongly in the orientation material, as well as the annual security awareness training. As we always say, your users can be your biggest asset or your biggest liability. Password reuse is a point that needs continual emphasis.

  1. Stolen Passwords:

    The dark web knows what your MySpace password was at this point. Find out what passwords you use have been compromised and stop using them. Google Password Checkup is a trusted resource. Financial companies are starting to send users known compromised passwords as well. We know many people are not going to come up with a stelar 25 character password for that jogging site they’re checking out, but be aware of what passwords are compromised, and don’t use them at work.

  1. Multi-Factor Authentication:

    Many more critical services like financial or system logins now offer Two-Factor Authentication (2FA) or Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA). We did a whole blog post on this topic you can read Here, but the long and the short of it is, if the service is available, use it. SMS authentication is not without flaws, but it’s still better than a simple password. Services like Google Authenticator are better but have not been incorporated into all businesses yet.

Passwords are not perfect, but they are also not going away. Password security involves making users aware of the risks that are out there and continuing to stress best practices. Continued education, and annual security awareness training is the best defense against password compromise.

Quanexus IT Support Services for Dayton and Cincinnati

Request your free network assessment today. There is no hassle, or obligation.

If you would like more information, contact us here or call 937.885.7272.

Follow us on FacebookTwitter and LinkedIn and stay up to date on by subscribing to our email list.

Posted by Charles Wright in Recent Posts