Tag: hack attack

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Can It Get Any Worse? Travel Giant CWT pays $4.5 Million USD ransom to Hackers who Stole Corporate Files and Knocked 30,000 Computers Offline
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Twitter accounts of prominent figures hacked
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Toll’d You So: Cyber Security Incident Cripples Toll’s Supply Lines, Causes Customer Backlash
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The White House issues response guide to a cyber attack

Can It Get Any Worse? Travel Giant CWT pays $4.5 Million USD ransom to Hackers who Stole Corporate Files and Knocked 30,000 Computers Offline

By Cameron Abbott and Max Evans

In these unprecedented times, where travel around the globe is primarily halted as nations get to grips with controlling the outbreak of COVID-19, many would think it couldn’t get any worse for travel companies. However, they would be wrong, as according to an article from ITNews, American travel management giant CWT has reportedly paid a whopping 414 bitcoin, equivalent to a value of 4.5 Million USD (approximately 6.3 Million AUD), to hackers who successfully exfiltrated over 2 terabytes of sensitive corporate files.

According to the Article, the successful hackers used a strain of ransomware referred to as “Ragnar Locker” which places computer files into a virtual prison through encryption and renders them unusable until the victim pays for the keys. Then in CWT had to negotiate in a public chat forum to pay for the release.  It gives us a rare insight into the dialogue that followed. CWT negotiated the hackers down from their initial demand of 10 Million USD. According to the Report, whilst the hackers claimed to have stolen over 2 terabytes of files including financial reports, security documents and employees’ personal data, it was not clear whether any customer data was compromised.

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Twitter accounts of prominent figures hacked

By Cameron Abbott, Warwick Andersen, Rob Pulham and Keely O’Dowd

Reports have surfaced that the Twitter accounts of prominent companies, politicians and celebrities were compromised on Wednesday, 15 July 2020. Hackers were able to gain large scale access to the Twitter accounts of several prominent and influential US personalities and companies to promote a cryptocurrency scam.

It is concerning that the accounts of prominent figures were targeted and compromised. Given the level of influence and prominence several of those individuals have on social media, the hackers had the potential to cause greater havoc. On this occasion, it appears the hackers were financially motivated to perform the cyber attack by seeking “donations” via Bitcoin. The hackers sent out tweets asking people to donate Bitcoin to an address and the Twitter account holder would double the donation.

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Toll’d You So: Cyber Security Incident Cripples Toll’s Supply Lines, Causes Customer Backlash

By Cameron Abbott, Warwick Andersen and Max Evans

Further information surrounding the specific details and extent of the security breach suffered by transport and logistics network Toll, which we previously blogged in respect of, have been revealed by the Australian Financial Review.

The crippling ransomware attack, known now as “Mailto” or “Kazakavkovkiz” caused Toll to suspend many of its delivery and tracking systems with a Toll spokesperson indicating that the company needed to suspend up to 500 applications that supported its operations across 25 countries worldwide. In Australia, entities such as Nike, Optus, and Telstra were forced to address a multitude of customer complaints arising out of packages affected by the relevant cyber attack.

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The White House issues response guide to a cyber attack

By Cameron Abbott and Simon Ly

Last week, the White House issued the US government’s response guide to cyber attacks titled “Presidential Policy Directive – United States Cyber Incident Coordination”.

Billed to combat “malicious activity, malfunction, human error and acts of nature”, the Directive aims to provide a guide to handle significant cyber incidents while fostering the advancement of technology and innovation. The Directive has a five-level grading system. It has been reported that no hack attack has reached level 5 yet, with this being reserved for a “threat to infrastructure, government stability or American lives”.

If it wasn’t apparent already, this guide emphasises the growing risks of cyber attacks both to governments and companies. It will be interesting to see the Directive in action as the response to the Directive has been mixed, with some saying it doesn’t go far enough and that it simply codifies existing practices. This criticism seems a little unfair because you would hope that existing practices were relatively well thought through and thus not a bad standard to entrench.

For more information, you can access the White House’s press release here.

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