Here's a roundup of this week's top information security stories, including a massive security breach that resulted in more than 5 million stolen Social Security numbers, updates from Black Hat 2017, and more.
Cybercriminal Swipes More than 5.5M Social Security numbers
Following a breach that impacted a data system belonging to the Kansas Department of Commerce, a cybercriminal has accessed the personal information of more than 6 million users. In total, 6,367,467 users’ information held by America’s JobLink Alliance Technical Support was exposed to the hacker, with 5,561,803 accounts featuring Social Security numbers belonging to users across ten states.
Emotet Banking Trojan Variant Features Worm Capabilities
A new variant of the infamous Emotet banking trojan has surfaced with features that allow it to propagate internally. According to research by Fidelis Cybersecurity, the malware authors behind the upgraded trojan may have been inspired by the recent WannaCry and NotPetya malware attacks. Researchers believe that the malware became “wormable” more than a month ago.
Company to Implant RFID Microchips in Employees
A Wisconsin-based company will be implanting RFID microchips in employees that volunteer to be a part of its new initiative. While many believe the act to be a PR stunt, Three Square Market’s CEO Todd Westby believes that microchipping humans is “inevitably going to happen, and we want to be a part of it.” This is the first U.S. company to offer microchip implants to its employees.
U.S. Banks Targeted by Trickbot Malware
The infamous Trickbot banking Trojan is now targeting U.S. banks as the Necurs botnet is powering its propagation. Research conducted by IBM X-Force and Flashpoint is monitoring the malware’s activity and have detected active spam campaigns over the last several months. Trickbot aims to swipe login details, personally identifiable information and financial authentication codes.
Microsoft Announces Bug Bounty Program
This week Microsoft announced the launch of the Windows Bug Bounty Program. Bounty payouts will range from $500 to $250,000 and be focused on vulnerabilities that result in remote code execution, elevation of privilege, or design flaws that compromise a customers privacy and security, according to a Microsoft release. Payments will also be made to researchers that report qualifying vulnerabilities already found internally by Microsoft.
Obama Cyber Czar Says Trump Administration Needs Cybersecurity Office
Michael Daniel, the former cybersecurity advisor to President Obama and current president of the Cyber Threat Alliance, discussed the current state of the Trump administration’s cybersecurity efforts at the recent Black Hat security conference in Las Vegas. According to Daniel, cybersecurity is an issue “that crosses multiple desks at the State Department.” Daniel also said that the Office of the Coordinator for Cyber Issues is key to avoiding international incidents.
Researcher Discusses Mass Destruction Via IoT Attacks
Cybersecurity expert Mikko Hypponen discussed the possibility of adversaries at war leveraging internet of things attacks to cause mass destruction. During the recent Black Hat security conference in Las Vegas, Hypponen said that by 2038 artificial intelligence would be operating military weaponry leveraged by warring nations, an idea that could result in human programmers potentially facing unemployment.
Security Expert Discovers Android, iOS Chipset Flaws
A newly discovered flaw in Android and iOS smartphone chipsets could result in a remote exploit. Security researcher Nitay Artenstein of Exodus Intelligence uncovered the vulnerability which impacts millions of devices. Artenstein presented his findings at this week’s Black Hat security conference in Las Vegas. The flaw was compromised of the “three necessary ingredients” needed to launch a remote attack; it did not require human interaction or complex assumptions, and the code could be cleaned up after the payload is installed, according to a report by Dark Reading.