There have been several stories this week about data breaches that have made the news. Affected companies and issues include a new malware virus, Washington State Health Care Authority, the IRS, and VTech.
Malware that can wipe data from Android devices has emerged. MazarBOT has been found to focus on online banking customers. The Trojan can steal online banking credentials and remove data from Android devices.
Heimdal Security shared information regarding the malware stating that the Trojan “will most likely succeed in circumventing most online banking protection solutions.” The malware has been uploaded on the devices through an SMS message that prompts the receiver to click to see a multimedia message.
This starts a chain of events that eventually leads to a hacker having control of the Android device. The results of this could be:
- The hacker sending messages or other content to premium numbers that will increase the phone owner’s bill.
- The hacker reading messages sent to the phone which could include codes sent to the phone to authenticate the device for various banking or shopping websites.
- The hacker having complete control over the phone to monitor activities or control the device as they wish.
Washington State Health Care Authority
A brother and a sister exchanged emails for two years that contained sensitive health information from Medicaid clients. The brother worked for the Department of Social and Health Services, and the sister worked for the state Health Care Authority. The data was exchanged between 2013 and 2015.
Information that was disclosed included Social Security numbers and Apple Health identification numbers, along with health records. The data was not forwarded to unauthorized personnel or used for any illicit purpose. The woman asked her brother for technical help and in the course of receiving that help, the information was shared. Both brother and sister have been fired from their positions.
The IRS came under a cyber-attack recently when malware was used to try to create E-file PINs for over 450,000 unique Social Security Numbers. While the cyber-attack was attempted, the IRS stated that no data was compromised or disclosed on their end. They stated that the information used to try to create the E-file PINS was obtained illegally elsewhere.
The IRS is notifying anyone who’s information was used in the attack. The IRS stopped the attack after 101,000 E-file PINS were created with the stolen information. The government office is working with several departments to assess the situation.
In November of 2015, VTech announced that their customer database related to the Learning Lodge app had been accessed by an unauthorized party. Information such as name, email, password, IP address and mailing address had been compromised. The database did not house credit card information.
The breach affected over 6 million kid profiles and almost 5 million parent profiles. As a result of an inquiry, the company has amended their policies to limit the company’s liability by stating that the parents will be responsible for future breaches, noting that “Such limitations are commonplace on the web.”