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Category Archives: Blog

HACKED! View Media

By Kevin Lancaster, IDAgent

Exploit: Unsecured Database

View Media: Online Marketing Firm 

cybersecurity news represented by a gauge showing severe risk  & Breach News This Week

Risk to Business: 2.201 = Severe

A publicly accessible Amazon Web Services (AWS) server that belongs to View Media was discovered by cybersecurity researchers, overflowing with more than 38 million US user records, including their full names, email and street addresses, phone numbers, and ZIP codes. The data included 700 statement of work documents for targeted email and direct mail advertising campaigns stored in PDF files, and 59 CSV and XLS files that contained 38,765,297 records of US citizens in total, of which 23,511,441 records were unique. The bucket also contained thousands of files for various marketing materials, such as banner advertisements, newsletters, and promotional flyers sorted by locations and ZIP codes that the marketing company’s campaigns targeted.

cybersecurity news represented by a gauge indicating moderate risk Breach News This Week

Individual Risk: 2.919 = Moderate

While this is a huge trove of information, no financial or protected personal information was involved, although this information will make its way into Dark Web data dumps.

Customers Impacted: 38 million +

How it Could Affect Their Business: Failing to undertake a simple bit of maintenance like this doesn’t look good in front of potential partners, who may become concerned that their business is a third party security risk and reconsider hiring them.

To learn more about how you can eliminate/mitigate these kinds of threats to your organization, call 239.790.4479 and speak to one of our security specialists today.

HACKED! Roper St Francis Hospital

By Kevin Lancaster, IDAgent

Exploit: Unauthorized Database Access (Phishing) 

Roper St. Francis Hospital: Medical Center 

cybersecurity news represented by a gauge showing severe risk  Breach News This Week

Risk to Business: 2.354 = Severe

A newly-announced security breach occurred at Roper St. Francis Hospital (Charleston SC) between June 13 and June 17. An attacker was able to gain access to a treasure trove of healthcare data by compromising an an employee’s email in a suspected phishing incident at the Charleston, SC hospital. The patient information that was compromised contained names, birth dates, detailed medical records, insurance information, and Social Security numbers.

cybersecurity news represented by a gauge showing severe risk Breach News This Week

Individual Risk: 2.004 = Severe

Patients and former patients can determine if attackers got their data by calling a toll-free call center for more information at 1-888-498-0916

Customers Impacted: 6,000

How it Could Affect Their Business: Health care information is at a premium right now because it is a hot seller on the Dark Web – and with an exponential increase in phishing, every healthcare sector organization is high on the hit list for bad actors.

To learn more about how you can eliminate/mitigate these kinds of threats to your organization, call 239.790.4479 and speak to one of our security specialists today.

HACKED! Cygilant

By Kevin Lancaster, IDAgent

Exploit: Ransomware

Cygilant: Information Security Firm  

cybersecurity & breach news represented by a gauge showing severe risk  & Breach News This Week

Risk to Business: 1.337 = Extreme

Cybersecurity startup Cygilant finds itself in hot water after falling victim to a ranasomware attack. Cygilant is believed to be the latest victim of NetWalker ransomware. A site on the Dark Web associated with the NetWalker ransomware group posted screenshots of internal network files and directories believed to be associated with Cygilant. It is unknown if they paid the ransom, but the Dark Web listing has disappeared.

Individual Risk: No personal information was disclosed as compromised in this incident.

Customers Impacted: Unknown

How it Could Affect Their Business Ransomware is most commonly delivered through a phishing email, today’s most common vector for cyberattacks. Preventing phishing email from landing in employee inboxes is a strong defense against ransomware.

To learn more about how you can eliminate/mitigate these kinds of threats to your organization, call 239.790.4479 and speak to one of our security specialists today.

HACKED! Telmate

By Kevin Lancaster, IDAgent

Exploit: Unsecured Database 

Telmate: Correctional Facility Communications  

cybersecurity news represented by a gauge showing severe risk & Breach News This Week

Risk to Business: 2.014 = Severe

An a misconfigured Amazon S3 Bucket is to blame for a nasty data breach involving Telmate, makers of the Getting Out app used for inmate communications. The app, (which charges an exorbitant fee of up to $0.50 per minute for families to communicate with their incarcerated loved ones), is commonly monitored by prison officials, but the data that has been leaked is the kind of highly sensitive personal information like whether an inmate identifies as transgender, their relationship status, prescription medication they take, and their religion. The company, part of the Global Tel Link family, blames a third party vendor for the incident. Experts say that 11,210,948 inmate records and 227,770,157 messages were exposed.

cybersecurity news represented by a gauge showing severe risk & Breach News This Week

Individual Risk: 2.314 = Severe

While Telnet maintains that no medical data, passwords, or consumer payment information were affected, the information that has been widely available through this unsecured bucket is potentially personally damaging and opens prisoners and their families up to identity theft and blackmail risks, as well as targeting for hate crime.

Customers Impacted: 2.3 million inmates and their families

How it Could Affect Their Business: Failing to secure simple data storage tools like this is indicative of a lax attitude toward security throughout a company, and can turn off customers and potential partners. This is Telmate’s second security incident this year.

To learn more about how you can eliminate/mitigate these kinds of threats to your organization, call 239.790.4479 and speak to one of our security specialists today.

Source: https://www.gizmodo.com.au/2020/09/prison-phone-app-exposes-millions-of-inmate-messages-and-personal-data/?web_view=true

Data on the Loose: Recent Data Thefts Stealing Your History

While the news has been buzzing with the Garmin Ransomware debacle (a huge issue that we’ll tackle in a later, more thoughtful analysis), two other unrelated breaches have come to light that people need to be aware of and understand:

FAMILY TREE MAKER-   The geneology software maker had an unsecured database server exposed to the Internet and it has leaded more than 25Gb of data on users of their software. This information included geolocation data, IP addresses, and technical details of users systems.

This drives home our advice of discouraging users from browsing/using work computers for home use. Technical details of some users work systems (along with their email addresses, location, etc) were no doubt in the data hault.

GEDmatch-   This site aggregates DNA data from users and commercial DNA testing companies., and matches sequences to other users. Originally designed to assist researchers, amateur genealogists, and adoptees searching for birth parents, it has been referred to now as “the de facto DNA and geneology database for all of law enforcement.” 

DNA Sequencing

The latest breach of their internal systems, attackers were able to not only steal information on the almost 1.5 million users, but changed the settings on over 1 million accounts to make them accessible to law enforcement for searching against the express wishes of the GEDmatch site users. They also used information gleaned in the data theft to attack the Israeli partner of the company.

          ______________________________________________

The information stolen in these two thefts alone are highly targeted and high-value data on individuals and potentially data on their employers computer networks.  Anyone who has used either of these services should be on high alert for very targeted [phishing] emails trying to get you to click through to a web site, download a “new feature”, etc. Many computer and network security settings cannot adequately protect you from deliberately choosing to download and run malware, so user training and awareness is important.

The Eleven Critical Tips for Successful Videoconferencing: That’s a Wrap!

Whew. The last user has logged off, we’ve finished our post-meeting sprint to the bathroom, and now its time to get our notes together and think about what worked, what didn’t, and to get our actionable items documented and working, etc.

Lets review the tips that got us here:

PART 1: LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION

  • Lighting
  • Camera Positioning
  • Your “Set”: Background & Environment

PART 2: BE PREPARED

  • Practice, Practice, Practice
  • Dress for Success
  • Fine-Tune Your Camera Position
  • Avoid Common Screen Sharing Snafu’s

PART 3: IN THE MOMENT

  • Don’t be Distracted
  • Keep it Quiet
  • Excuse Yourself to Leave the Frame
  • Chat Etiquette

There’s an underlying theme to just about every one of these tips, and all the myriad others you’ll read online: Use common sense, don’t try to be overly cute or “cool”, and if you wouldn’t do it in the office conference room you should think long and hard before doing it in a virtual meeting. 

Remember that no matter the who the meeting is for, where you do it from, or the subject matter at hand, people innately want you to do well. It’s the rare individual (or ex-spouse) that is hoping for you to fail. Don’t be afraid to break the rules if you know it fits the audience and relax and enjoy!

The Eleven Critical Tips for Successful Videoconferencing: Part 3- In the Moment

OK! You’ve got your home studio set up (NBC ain’t got nothin’ on you!), you’ve staged your background, pressed your suit. Now it’s finally time to moderate your online meeting. It’s time to pay attention to how you look, what you say, and what you do – be engaged and in the moment. Please don’t take this as a downer chapter filled with “don’ts – think of them as cautionary tales of woe, and learn from the experiences and failings of those before you. In other words, don’t do these things!

Man on conference with other devices and dogs taking his attention.
Distracted Much?

HEY! LOOK UP HERE!
Don’t be distracted, but pay attention to the meeting and the content. That means you shouldn’t be being distracted by alerts on your phone. Make arrangements so you aren’t always looking into a corner of the room to shush your dogs or check on the sleeping toddler (or fighting teens). Also, you engaging in fidgety activities can distract everyone. Things like drinking, eating, smoking, trimming your nails; all are not only distractions to the meeting but project to the other participants your level of respect for their time and the meeting subject matter.

KEEP IT QUIET:
While someone else is speaking you think you can whip off the quick instant message that just popped up in Messenger? Think again, Skippy – those keyboards make a lot more noise than you may think. If you have to make a comment to someone in the room with you or do something else that is going to make noise, hit the “mute” button for your conferencing software. You remembered to make that “cheat sheet” of shortcuts to cut your audio, your video, and screen sharing we mentioned in our earlier post, didn’t you?

EXCUSE YOURSELF IF YOU HAVE TO GET UP:
If you just can’t wait a few more minutes to you refill your coffee, or if you’ve had too many of them and need to de-fill, a quick excuse me and turn off your video feed before you get up and leave. A “live feed” that is unattended is just asking for trouble. But really, try to keep attentive and in your seat.

However, if you have a co-worker get up from their chair and leave the video live, you should screenshot their empty home office and use the image later as your virtual background. This is especially funny if you get them on a video call while they are away from home, and it looks like you’re sitting in their living room. 

CHAT ETIQUETTE:
 Every Video Conference system has the ability to type little asides to the group, the presenters, or to often to other individuals on the call. Unless you need to type something that is relevant to the meeting at the moment, resist the urge. It’s a little like passing notes in grade school.

The most important reason you don’t want to have sidechats about how scruffy the boss is looking these days of social distancing or what kind of cocktail is on the menu for dinner tonight is you want to concentrate on the meeting, its participants, and contents. The second reason is that many of these services record all of the chats along with the video-audio streams, and you can’t always be certain who can access those within the recording. 

WHEW! We’ve finished the meeting. In the next posting, we’ll recap and talk about what we’ve learned.

Previous:   Part 2: Be Prepared
Next: That's a Wrap!

The Eleven Critical Tips for Successful Videoconferencing: Part 2- Be Prepared

If you’re an attorney, I would hope that if presented with the opportunity to argue a case before the Supreme Court you wouldn’t just say “I’ll be fine, how hard can it be”, but rather you would study, prepare, and rehearse for your big day of oral arguments. Whatever your profession or video conference need, apply the same discipline to your online contacts.

Practice, Practice, Practice:
Practice Your Meeting, and I mean every part of the presentation and the technology. Can you start the software and sign in properly? Do you know how to quickly turn on (and off!) your camera, microphone, and any screen or document sharing you may have to do? Every meetings software has shortcut keys for all of these action, and until you do it enough to know them don’t be afraid to write them down or print out a “cheat sheet” of commands.

While you’re writing things down, it can’t hurt to have an agenda/timeline outline that has what you need to do when – do you need to mute or un-mute all of the participants for certain segments of the presentation? Write it down.

Whatever you do, don’t try to learn the tech on-the-fly. You may be a WebEx user from way back but if you’ve switched to Zoom (or never been the presenter/moderator of a meeting until now), you won’t give the smooth presentation that you’re hoping for and it will show.

Seriously, who even bought these for him?

Dress For Success: 
If you were attending the meeting in person, how would you look?  Showered, shaved, dressed appropriately for the event?  Why should this be any different? Slouching in your bunny slippers may be fun, but you are taking the most precious thing that these individuals have to give you; their time. Respect that and show that you do by looking the part. That includes sitting up straight rather than slumping over the camera.

Fine-Tune your Camera Position:
As you do your quick run-through of your presentation, this is a good time to pay close attention to camera position and background. Has anything changed like it’s now late afternoon and the sun is streaming through a window behind you, your camera is tilted at some weird angle which will drive some participants nuts, or did the dog poop in the corner (again!) and it’s just in camera range?

This is a good time to discover that yes, you do want to wear pants, even though “you’re certain” no one will ever see below your [whatever amount you choose to dress down to]. I could do another couple of hundred words on all the times I’ve seen more than I cared to of careless co-workers. Also, it just makes you feel more professional and ready for a meeting.

Avoid Common Screen Sharing Snafu’s:
As important as what is behind you when getting in front of the camera is what is on your desktop and open in your browser.

When starting and stopping screen, document, or browser sharing you have the chance to show more than you may have bargained for. The screen “wallpaper” photo of your buddies at the frat may not be the photo you want up for public consumption.

Check the names of the icons on your desktop or opened in your taskbar. They may be embarrassing or even leak vital information about you or your organization. Close every browser tab and program you don’t absolutely need to do your presentation. Brit Hume of FOX News gave a Master Class on this in March, 2020; just check out the browser tabs. 

Brit Hume Embarassing Browser Tabs
While Hackers appreciate knowing Brit Hume Banks with SunTrust, does he have “Sexy Vixen Vinyl Set” on DirectPay?

So, the moral of Part Two of this story is don’t just slide into this as some slapdash “oh darn I’ve got a presentation in 5” kinda thing, but get your room, your computer, and you prepared to meet your audience.

PREVIOUS: Part 1: Location, Location, Location
NEXT: Part 3: In the Moment

The Eleven Critical Tips for Successful Videoconferencing: Part 1- Location, Location, Location

The start of any good meeting (in person or virtual) always begins with your meeting preparation. And just like any good realtor will tell you, it’s all about “location, location, location.”

LIGHTS: Your computer should be positioned so there is no bright light behind you. Keep your light in front of you, and at no more than a 45 degree angle to being directly in front. If you are doing evening calls, be aware that your computer screen can add additional light to your face.

Many people have invested in “ring lighting” and other fancy attachments for their computer/cameras. If you want to invest $2-300 in upgrading your lighting (and camera, and maybe a newer computer to handle the higher resolution, oh and don’t forget faster Internet at home…) that’s great – but wait until you’ve done all our recommendations here and you know exactly what you need (and how often you’re going to need it) to be successful.

Man on toilet with laptop computer
This is not the best location for video conferencing.

CAMERA: Raise your camera up to just a smidge below eye level (yes, that is a technical term). Use books, a higher tabletop, or even a stool to place your computer on (assuming a notebook with a built-in camera) so that for others in the meeting their view of you is eye level. Always be certain that you center yourself on your camera frame, and that your head is slightly above center vertically in the view without cutting off the top of your head.

Find someplace quiet; while you may be used to the kids screaming, barking dogs, trash pickup day, and the neighbors deathmetal polka band rehearsing next door, they are all distractions to the rest of your meeting team. Be aware of the small things (air conditioner, dishwasher, etc) that may not seem loud to you but are right in line with your microphone. If you can’t avoid ambient distractions, consider using earbuds or headphones with your computer. While wireless is all the rage, if you have wired (since you won’t be moving away from the computer) will eliminate problems or interference issues with Bluetooth headsets.

ACTION: 
Remember that with children and spouses around, the kitchen may not be the best room in the world to set up for your meeting. Unless you need to channel your inner Julia Childs it’s best to be somewhere that isn’t likely to be heavily trafficked and you interrupted. If you didn’t hold budget meetings at work in the office lobby last year… well, you get the idea.

On the subject of “where” – think about what is showing in the frame behind you. That funny “fart” award that your crazy Uncle Bunky gave you when you were twelve may be a cherished family heirloom, but it will detract from the proceedings as it peers over your shoulder at the virtual board meeting of the Civic Betterment Society of Bedford Falls. If you need to, have a close friend check out the view for you. Sometimes we get so used to odd belongings, a frayed chair, or that door frame chewed up that time a raccoon wandered into the house, that we don’t realize they may not telegraph the image we want to present to our co-workers, clients, etc.

I can’t finish this section without reminding everyone that while we will make the appropriate noises of approval (no one wants to be “that” person, after all), interrupting the meeting to show off your pet, child, or spouse is annoying. You didn’t bring them into office conference room so they could run around the table barking (or yelling), so no one really needs to see them via camera, either. A quick introduction or acknowledgement if they happen to inadvertently wander into the frame (You’re not in the kitchen, right?) is all that is needed.

PREVIOUS: Introduction
NEXT: Part 2: Be Prepared

The Eleven Critical Tips for Successful Videoconferencing: An Introduction

Videoconferencing: A wonderful, almost magical technology that lets us stay home in our pajamas drinking rum coladas and playing with dogs during business meetings. There is a dark side, however, and that is the home, pajamas, rum, and dogs among a list of other no-no’s when conducting or participating in virtual meetings from your personal castle.

These tips apply whether you use RingCentral Meeting, Zoom, Skype, FaceTime, Google Meet, Hangouts, Microsoft Teams, or any of the other video chat services out there. If you’ve done any number of meetings so far during the pandemic isolation you’ve likely already encountered boorish video behaviours from your co-workers, and watched more than one meeting head suddenly south by the introduction of their “most precious and beautiful little poopsie-oopsie EVER!” (and we can only hope that was introducing an adored pet and not a spouse).

Woman at desk videoconferencing

But, oh newbie to the work-from-home movement, be not discouraged: There are lots of tactics you can use to make sure that you’re contributing positively to your video chat or videoconference.

We’ve gathered the most critical of these tips (which we’re posting over the next three days) and grouped them as follows:

  • Be Aware of your Location
  • Be Prepared for the Meeting
  • Be Attentive to the Meeting

We’ll also wrap up with a How-to-Wrap-Up at the wrap-up. by the end of this series, you’ll  be ready to vidconf like a pro!     Stay Tuned!

NEXT: Part 1: Location, Location, Location