More DDoS attacks against Canada, Russia’s Nobelium group targeting NATO countries and more.
Welcome to Cyber Security Today. It’s Friday, April 14th, 2023. I’m Howard Solomon, contributing reporter on cybersecurity for ITWorldCanada.com and TechNewsday.com in the U.S.
Pro-Russian hacktivists are taking credit for denial-of-service attacks on a number of websites across Canada this week. Websites temporarily blocked include those of the Prime Minister, Hydro Quebec and some ports. That prompted John Ferguson, general manager of cybersecurity at the Canadian Internet Registry Authority, to call on Canadian organizations to band together and be vigilant against any cyber attack. “We must leverage every tool and technology in our arsenal to protect the critical institutions Canadians rely on,” he said.
Questions about how easy it is to hack an internet-connected industrial control system were raised this week when leaked confidential U.S. military documents quoted a pro-Russian group claiming to have hacked a Canadian gas pipeline. That’s one of the topics that David Shipley of Beauceron Security and I will discuss later today on my Week in Review podcast. Coincidentally, a few days ago an Israeli newspaper reported that hackers believed to be an anti-Israel group got into internet-connected water controllers for irrigation systems and monkeyed around. Farms were warned by the government’s cyber office of possible attacks and told to take their systems off the internet. However, apparently about a dozen farms ignored the warning. They may also have left default passwords unchanged, which would have helped the attack.
Russia’s Nobelium gang, which was behind the compromise of the update mechanism of SolarWinds’ Orion software, is believed to be behind a recent widespread espionage campaign against NATO countries. That’s the conclusion of authorities in Poland. In a report Thursday they said the attacker are spear-phishing select individuals with emails pretending to be from embassies of European countries. The messages invite these officials to a meeting or to work together on documents. Included a link to a web site with malware that the sender hopes victims will click on.
Here’s another one of those ‘Oopsy’ moments: Social Security numbers of over 6,000 alumni of the Pennsylvania College of Technology were accidentally printed on the mailing labels of the institution’s Spring 2023 alumni magazine. They weren’t identified as Social Security numbers, but someone could have figured it out. Upon investigating, the college realized the same thing happened when the Spring 2022 edition of the magazine was mailed out last May.
Over 9,000 people registered with Mothers’ Milk Bank of North Texas are being notified of a data breach. This is a nonprofit agency that promotes breastfeeding for infants. Last December a hacker got into the cloud database of one of its IT partners, Timeless Medical Systems, and stole data of a number of its customers. Data stolen includes names, addresses, date of birth, Social Security number, driver licence number, health and tax information.
And 29,000 employees of a home care services company called Unlimited Care are getting notices their personal data was stolen. The company says in March, about a month after it suffered a network disruption, a hacker stole personal data. That included names, addresses, dates of birth and Social Security numbers. Unlimited Care provides clients with nurses, home health aides and homemakers.
That’s it for now. But later today the Week in Review edition will be available. In addition to talking about the possible hack of a Canadian gas pipeline, David Shipley and I will discuss this week’s Windows patches, Identity Management Day and spyware.
Follow Cyber Security Today on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts or add us to your Flash Briefing on your smart speaker. Thanks for listening. I’m Howard Solomon