A Review of the Best News of the Week on Cybersecurity Management & Strategy

Human Error to Blame as Exposed Records Top 37 Billion in 2020 (Infosecurity Magazine, Jan 22 2021)
Breach volumes drop but ‘breached’ records surge 141%

FireEye Releases New Open Source Tool in Response to SolarWinds Hack (SecurityWeek, Jan 19 2021)
FireEye Mandiant on Tuesday announced the release of an open source tool designed to check Microsoft 365 tenants for the use of techniques associated with UNC2452, the name currently assigned by the cybersecurity firm to the threat group that attacked IT management company SolarWinds.

Biden Orders Intel Agencies to Provide Full Assessment of SolarWinds Hack (SecurityWeek, Jan 22 2021)
Just says into his leadership role, U.S. President Joe Biden has instructed U.S. intelligence agencies to provide him with a detailed assessment of the SolarWinds hack, which fueled a global cyber espionage campaign impacting many high-profile government agencies and businesses.

Filter Out the Noise
Since I started this curated security news in June 2017, I’ve clipped ~17,000 articles and narrowed them down into the best 20 per day & best 15 per week. This is my favorite way to cut through all the security marketing and hype. If you’re enjoying it, tell a friend. If you hate it, tell an enemy.
Thanks! – Lucas Samaras

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Malwarebytes was breached by the SolarWinds attackers (Help Net Security, Jan 20 2021)
A fourth malware strain wielded by the SolarWinds attackers has been detailed by Symantec researchers, followed by the disclosure of the attackers’ ingenous lateral movement techniques and the release of an auditing script by FireEye researchers that organizations can use to check their Microsoft 365 tenants for signs of intrusion.

What Is President Biden Going to Do About the Cyber? (VICE, Jan 22 2021)
Questions remain on how he’ll deal with Big Tech, the NSA, CIA and r Russian hackers.

Hackers alter stolen regulatory data to sow mistrust in COVID-19 vaccine (Ars Technica, Jan 15 2021)
Post titled “Astonishing fraud! Evil Pfffizer! Fake vaccines!” found on the dark Web.

NSA Appoint Rob Joyce as Cyber Director (Dark Reading, Jan 15 2021)
Joyce has long worked in US cybersecurity leadership, most recently serving as the NSA’s top representative in the UK.

UK Accidentally Deletes 150k Arrest Records (Infosecurity Magazine, Jan 15 2021)
Technical blunder erases 150k arrest records from UK-wide police database

Researchers Earn $50,000 for Hacking Apple Servers (SecurityWeek, Jan 18 2021)
A couple of researchers claim they have earned $50,000 from Apple for finding some serious vulnerabilities that gave them access to the tech giant’s servers.

Are you vetting your MSSPs? (Help Net Security, Jan 19 2021)
Enterprises were already moving toward digital transformations at the start of 2020, but the COVID-19 pandemic suddenly threw everything into high gear. Telework, virtual meetings and a host of online transactions – from retail purchases and food ordering to interviewing and onboarding employees – went from being occasional occurrences to being the norm.

Health Insurer Fined $5.1m Over Data Breach (Infosecurity Magazine, Jan 19 2021)
Excellus Health Plan agrees to pay $5.1m to settle HIPAA violation case

Joker’s Stash Carding Market to Call it Quits (Krebs on Security, Jan 18 2021)
Joker’s Stash, by some accounts the largest underground shop for selling stolen credit card and identity data, says it’s closing up shop effective mid-February 2021. The announcement came on the heels of a turbulent year for the major cybercrime store, and just weeks after U.S. and European authorities seized a number of its servers.

The Most Pressing Concerns Facing CISOs Today (Dark Reading, Jan 19 2021)
Building security into the software development life cycle creates more visibility, but CISOs still need stay on top of any serious threats on the horizon, even if they are largely unknown.

Panel Reflects on How Orgs Should Approach Security in 2021 (Infosecurity Magazine, Jan 20 2021)
Organizations need to embrace transparency regarding their cybersecurity

Financial institutions can strengthen cybersecurity with SWIFT’s CSCF v2021 (Help Net Security, Jan 21 2021)
The Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunications (SWIFT) has introduced an updated set of baseline customer security controls that all of its users must implement on their SWIFT-related infrastructure by mid-year 2021. SWIFT is the world’s largest provider of secure financial messaging services to banks and other financial institutions.

Most CISOs believe that human error is the biggest risk for their organization (Help Net Security, Jan 21 2021)
53% of CISOs and CSOs in the UK&I reported that their organization suffered at least one significant cyberattack in 2020, with 14% experiencing multiple attacks, a Proofpoint survey reveals. This trend is not set to slow down, with 64% expressing concern that their organization is at risk of an attack in 2021.

DDoS-Guard To Forfeit Internet Space Occupied by Parler (Krebs on Security, Jan 21 2021)
Parler, the beleaguered social network advertised as a "free speech" alternative to Facebook and Twitter, has had a tough month. Apple and Google removed the Parler app from its stores, and Amazon blocked the platform from using its hosting services. Parler has since found a home in DDoS-Guard, a Russian digital infrastructure company. But now it appears DDoS-Guard is about to be relieved of more than two-thirds of the Internet address space the company leases to clients…

Why North Korea Excels in Cybercrime (Dark Reading, Jan 22 2021)
This suggests that ongoing investment of government funds is further strengthening the civil-military fusion, which is bound to exacerbate tensions on the Korean peninsula and international security concerns.

CISA launches ransomware education program (SC Media, Jan 21 2021)
The effort encourages governments, schools and private companies to take steps to protect their systems and data from ransomware.

Look for GDPR fines to increase, extend beyond breaches (SC Media, Jan 21 2021)
So far, U.S. companies have felt the brunt of regulators’ displeasure. The highest GDPR fine so far – $57 million – was imposed on Google by French regulators, though Marriott may have to pony up $123 million.