28 September 2018

IRM Weekly Cybersecurity Roundup: GCHQ growth and more

Each week, IRM gathers up (what we think) are the most interesting and important reads from the cybersecurity industry. The weekly roundup will include good and bad examples of cybersecurity practice and thought pieces from across the globe – all summarised in one handy place for your regular news top-up.

GCHQ gain 2000 new staff to counteract nation state hacking

Experts are being brought in from the military, security services and the cyber security industry to combat the increase in cybercrime from terrorist groups and rogue nation states.

The new unit, which combines GCHQ with the Ministry of Defence, is 2,000 people strong. Costing £250 million, the new unit will be four times bigger than the current number of cyber-offensive personnel.

This move aims to “level the playing field and provide new means of both deterring and punishing states that wish to do us harm”. This is according to the former commander of Joint Forces Command, who are responsible for military cyber.

You can read the full article here.

Tesco faces biggest cyber-fine on record

After Tesco Bank’s 2016 hack, they are facing a £30m fine from the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). This is after the incident which forced the Bank to suspend all online transactions when they detected criminals were trying to access its services.

If the FCA is successful in imposing the fine, it will be the biggest cyber-related fine on record. However, Tesco Bank is currently contesting it. Considering Equifax’s recent £500,000 fine, many critics believe Tesco’s final sum is likely to be substantially lower. Despite this, the fine could send an important message to the banking sector about taking cybersecurity seriously.

You can read the full article here.

Amazon Alexa widespread outage

On Wednesday 26th, many tech-lovers flocked to social media to share that their Amazon Alexa devices had stopped working. With other Amazon Web Services organisations experiencing technical difficulties, it’s suspected there were server problems. These issues with Amazon’s cyber services forced the voice-activation devices to fail.

Amazon were very quiet on this issue, and chose not to make a statement to customers about the reason for the outage.

You can read the full article here.

Did the Port of Barcelona provoke their own cyber-attack? 

Following a cyber-attack on 20th September 2018, the Port of Barcelona has announced it was largely unaffected.There were concerns that the delivery and reception of goods would be delayed. However, their IS department discovered the issues only affected internal functionality. Very little information was disclosed, with the Port only detailing that the attack had affected its servers.

Similarly, the Port of Barcelona has not commented on what they have done to prevent further attacks. Sceptics have noticed that the Port tweeted just two days before their attack stating that “no one is safe from a cyber-attack”. This could have provoked a hacker to ‘test’ their security. You can read the full article here.

Interestingly, the Port of San Diego was also targeted this week. The medium-sized US port were subject to a ransomware attack on the 25th and are currently working with limited functionality. It’s unclear if the two incidents are linked, and there is an ongoing investigation. In the meantime, the maritime industry are on alert surrounding their cyber security. You can read more about the San Diego attack here. 

Singapore’s worst data breach due to outdated systems

An exploited server attack that allowed hackers to reach SingHealth’s critical system in June 2018, was due to a lack of software updates, it’s been revealed.

The Committee of Inquiry has found that software patches were missed by the Integrated Health Information System. These patches should have been done several times a month. The lack of software update management was due to counterparts who had left the organisation and failed to pass on responsibility.

Lack of training on cybersecurity and server administration was also highlighted as reasons for the missed patches.

You can read the full article here.

If you’re concerned about the level of security protecting your information systems, or the training of your staff, contact us to discover how we can support your organisation.