Tag: security threat

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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
2
Watching Me, Watching You: Chinese Surveillance Cameras Banned in South Australia amidst Security Concerns
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“Totally Clueless”: Dating app Grindr reported for breach of privacy rules
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Volkswagen, Israeli experts to establish automotive cybersecurity company

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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Watching Me, Watching You: Chinese Surveillance Cameras Banned in South Australia amidst Security Concerns

By Cameron Abbott and Max Evans

Following Australia’s latest round of expanded 5G restrictions, the South Australian Government has made a decision to remove all close circuit surveillance cameras made by a Chinese surveillance giant from health department buildings, according to an article by the Sydney Morning Herald.

The article notes that the relevant cameras are made by the partially state-owned Chinese surveillance technology company Hikvision, which was blacklisted in October 2019 by the United States for their alleged role in human rights violations and in purporting to create a surveillance network amongst federal agencies. Issues with Hikvision in South Australia were first identified in the course of a Commonwealth-funded trial in which Hikvision cameras were to be used in the rooms of aged care residents as a means to improve overall safety.

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“Totally Clueless”: Dating app Grindr reported for breach of privacy rules

By Cameron Abbott, Max Evans and Florence Fermanis

Dating apps, for many young people, are a fact of life. Meeting someone these days in real-life rather than through a simple swipe right appears to have become the exception, belonging more to any number of 90s teen “romcoms” than it does to real life.

According to an article by Reuters however, in recent times dating app Grindr has been the subject of a complaint by the Norwegian Consumer Council (NCC) in relation to a breach of privacy rules as set out in the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation, implemented in 2018.

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Volkswagen, Israeli experts to establish automotive cybersecurity company

By Cameron Abbott and Rebecca Murray

The increasing connectivity of modern cars has enhanced the modern driving experience beyond what we could imagine only a few decades ago. However, with increasing connectivity comes an increasing risk. Features such as autonomous and intelligent parking and driving systems have increased the number of interfaces in vehicles and therefore the risk of malicious attack. To demonstrate how easily vehicles can be targeted, last year, two hackers developed a tool that can hijack a Jeep remotely over the internet. You can watch the remote hacking of the Jeep featured by WIRED here.

In response to this growing threat, Volkswagen along with three Israeli experts and their team are jointly establishing an automotive cyber security company. The newly founded CYMOTIVE Technologies will develop advanced cyber security for next generation connected cars. CYMOTIVE has announced that it aims to take an innovative and strategic approach to the significant technological challenges that will face the connected car and the development of the autonomous car in the future.

 

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