Top news stories this week
- The jury is out. International Criminal Court impacted by cyber security incident.
- Security stumbles. T-Mobile and Microsoft inadvertently leak sensitive data.
- Supplier beware. Colombian and Australian governments hit by third-party ransomware attacks.
- Cashing in. 2023 set to be the second most profitable year for ransomware groups.
- Plug and play. Chinese-backed hackers continue to use USBs for malware distribution.
- Doughn't delay. Pizza Hut Australia contacts 193,000 customers after breach.
1. International criminal court hit by cyber attack
The International Criminal Court (ICC) at the Hague has confirmed it suffered a cyber attack, but declined to comment on reports that sensitive documents were accessed. The breach comes weeks after an announcement that the court will start prosecuting cyber attacks on civilian infrastructure as international war crimes. The court has continued to operate with some disruptions to digital services.
It’s unclear whether this incident was related to the ICC’s announcement; however, organisations should assess whether their policies or public announcements might affect their cyber threat profile and adjust their cyber security strategies accordingly.
2. T-Mobile and Microsoft accidentally leak sensitive information
T-Mobile exposed sensitive customer data to unauthorised users, including full names, billing addresses, and credit card details. The incident, initially reported on social media sites, was the result of a system update error.
Separately, Microsoft inadvertently exposed 38 terabytes worth of private data including private keys, passwords, and internal Teams messages, after employees shared an overly permissive URL on a GitHub repository.
Accidental data exposure can cause serious reputational damage. Cultivating a strong security culture and investing in robust security controls can reduce the risk of data breaches.
3. Colombian and Australian government agencies hit by cyber attacks
Separately, over 60 Australian government agencies and departments were affected by a cyber attack on HWL Ebsworth after the ALPHV/BlackCat ransomware group hacked the law firm in April.
Organisations should conduct regular vendor assessments and ensure appropriate security controls for third-party access are implemented.
4. Ransomware groups extorted USD 449.1 million in the first half of 2023
According to US Department of Homeland Security’s 2024 Homeland Threat Assessment, ransomware groups extorted at least USD 449.1 million from victims around the world in the first half of 2023. This is attributed to both a renewed focus on large organisations as potential victims and the continued attacks on smaller firms. The true figure is likely far higher as many payments are not disclosed.
Organisations should conduct regular ransomware readiness assessments to proactively identify weaknesses in their cyber security posture and mitigate the risk of a ransomware attack
5. Hackers still leveraging USB sticks to spy on multinational firms
Chinese state-linked hackers have allegedly been using USBs to spread malware within the African branches of US and European multinationals. The infected USBs deploy Sogu malware through systems to search for and remotely upload confidential data for espionage purposes. Multiple firms have been targeted, including organisations with divisions in Zimbabwe, Ghana, and Madagascar.
Network segmentation can stop cyber incidents from spreading across your whole environment.
6. Pizza Hut Australia contacts data breach victims
Pizza Hut Australia has notified 193,000 customers that their personal data was exposed in a recent data breach. Impacted data included customers’ addresses and order histories, but more sensitive information like passwords and credit card data was reportedly encrypted. Earlier this month, the data extortion group ShinyHunters claimed to have stolen over 1 million Pizza Hut customers’ data after gaining access via Amazon Web Services.
Organisations should act swiftly when faced with data breaches to identify and notify impacted customers.