In June 2021, there was a fairly low number of breaches with 9,780,931 breached records from publicly disclosed security incidents. However, this does come from 106 incidents, which is roughly average for the year. This shows that in most of the cases, the breached organisation did not disclose how much data was compromised: either they did not know, or they did not have to reveal it to the public. Including June’s figures, it brings the total number of security incidents to 729 so far this year and the total number of breached records to 3,947,030,094.

How was the Matt Hancock CCTV Scandal Leaked?

When CCTV footage emerged of now-ex Health Secretary Matt Hancock with aide Gina Coladangelo, most will have focussed on the incident itself. However, there is also a serious consideration of the security breach that went with it – how was CCTV footage from inside a UK government building attained by The Sun reporters?

Brandon Lewis, Northern Ireland secretary, has given his opinions on the security concern as he said “the security and privacy of government business mean ministers need to understand how someone was able to access and record the footage and then share it with a newspaper. What happens in government departments can be sensitive, important and people need to have confidence that what is happening in a government department is something that allows the government to be focused on these core issues, and the sensitivity sometimes in the security sense of those core issues.”

The new Health Secretary, Sajid Javid, explained that the CCTV cameras in question had been disabled, and Robert Buckland, the Justice Secretary said he asked for his office to be swept for cameras. Various media accounts blame an employee from the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) to be behind the leak. They allegedly sent messages on Instagram to an unnamed anti-lockdown activist. The government has now launched an investigation to find out how the CCTV was leaked. This event show how easy it is still to hack a massive company, including the government, by individuals who would not even describe themselves as hackers.

IKEA guilty of Spying on their employees

The Swedish furniture chain IKEA has been ordered to pay a €1m fine by a French court after it was found guilty of spying on their staff in France. IKEA France was accused of hiring private detectives and police officers to gather employee’s private data. Due to Covid-19 many people are now working from home and employers monitor them online more than ever. Dr Evronia Azer, from Coventry University’s Centre for Business in Society, articulates that surveillance at work now makes employees feel vulnerable and nervous, which leads to less productivity. Be careful how you monitor employees.

EA Hacking

Video game giant Electronic Arts (EA) reported that they had been hacked, with the theft of several of their games’ source-code, including leading game FIFA 21. This source code was offered for sale on an underground forum. 780Gb of EA data was stolen, but EA say that no player data has not been compromised. EA explain “We are investigating a recent incident of intrusion into our network where a limited amount of game source code and related tools were stolen. No player data was accessed, and we have no reason to believe there is any risk to player privacy.” In recent weeks EA has improved its security. The “network intrusion” was not a ransomware attack and had happened recently, EA added.

Ransomware Update

Global meat production operations for one company had to stop this month, when the world’s largest meat processing company JBS had its computer systems attacked by ransomware. It has been reported that JBS has paid a £7.8m ($11m) Bitcoin ransom payment to the REvil, a Russian linked cybercriminal group. They first wanted $22 Million but after JBS paid the ransom, REvil provided JBS with the decryptor.

Colonial Pipeline Ransom Recovered

In last month’s round up blog, the Colonial Pipeline hacking incident was mentioned. The United States have now recovered most of the £3.1m ($4.4m) ransom they paid to the DarkSide group who was responsible. Attorney-General Lisa Monaco said investigators had “found and recaptured 63.7 Bitcoin worth $2.3m, the majority of the ransom paid. After the ransom was paid the value of bitcoin has fallen sharply, therefore a hit has been taken on the recovered amount given the new poorer exchange rate.

Big Northampton College Hit by Hackers

A college in Northampton – Kingsthorpe College – was hit by hackers, forcing the college to be shut due to safety concerns, this has sparked a cyber-crime investigation. Officials says they were victims of a cyber-attack, which has ‘significantly reduced’ its capacity to run its information management systems. The college had to be shut for a week, forcing students to work from home. They believe that no personal data has been compromised. The school is now working with the National Cyber Security Centre, Northamptonshire Police, Action Fraud, and the Information Commissioners Office to work out how it happened. Schools and colleges are becoming huge targets more and more.

Mercedes- Benz USA Data Breach

In June, Mercedes-Benz USA revealed a data breach impacting some of their customers. To assess the impact of the data breach they reviewed 1.6 million customer records, which included customer names, addresses, emails, phone numbers, and some purchased vehicle information. It was revealed that the data breach included credit card information, social security numbers, and driver license numbers of 1,000 Mercedes-Benz customers and potential customers.

Even though, Mercedes-Benz say that the information would not have been searchable on or indexed by a typical search engine. They have contacted all the affected customers about the incident. In their statement they say “Any individual who had credit card information, a driver’s license number or a social security number included in the data will be offered complimentary 24-month subscription to a credit monitoring service. We will also notify the appropriate government agencies.”

Volkswagen Vendor’s Security Lapse

Volkswagen says more than 3.3 million customers had their information exposed after one of its vendors left a cache of customer data unsecured on the internet. This left any customer data from 2014 to 2019 unprotected for 2 years without notice between August 2019 and May 2021. The data collected contained customers name, home address, email address, and phone number. More than 90,000 customers across Canada and America had more sensitive data exposed including information about loan eligibility and driver licenses. Volkswagen have not named the vendor who has exposed the data.

Serious Cyber Attack at Brechin School

Pupil profiles including learning difficulties and mental health status were released in the breach, along with their exam results. This affected 1,800 pupils from Brechin High School in what the police describe as a serious cyber-attack. This is the schools second breach, following one in 2019 when pupils’ and teachers’ private health information was shared. Police Scotland is now investigating the incident. This shows that good security hygiene is essential and that multiple data breaches are possible.

Ransomware Attack on The Salvation Army

The Salvation Army has recently been hit by a ransomware attack. A Salvation Army spokesperson said “we are investigating an IT incident affecting a number of our corporate IT systems. We have informed the Charity Commission and the Information Commissioner’s Office, are also in dialogue with our key partners and staff and are working to notify any other relevant third parties.” They have declined to give any other information about the attack. All they say is that Salvation Army employees and volunteers need to keep an eye on bank statements for mysterious transactions.

Big Canadian Hospital Hit by Ransomware Attack

In the height of the Canadian pandemic one of Canada’s biggest hospital’s in Toronto has been battling a ransomware attack too. At 2am on 14 June they experienced an attack; it was discovered almost immediately and all IT systems were shut down, including the patient health records system, disrupting the hospital. Some files have been restored but they are still dealing with some corrupt files. Since then, the IT department has been working with an external recovery company to recover everything and it is still being investigated how the attack happened. This highlights why good quality backups are essential.