Posted July 9, 2015
Welcome to the Cyveillance Weekly Cyber Security Trends Report
Since threat intelligence is constantly evolving, we publish this weekly cyber security trends report to keep our customers updated on the latest threats across a variety of industries. You can read an abridged version below. Follow us on Twitter and subscribe to our blog to make sure you don’t miss any of the latest security articles from Cyveillance experts.
- Security researchers are seeing large numbers of U.S. healthcare organizations being hit by the Stegoloader Trojan. This malware embeds its code inside PNG image files to evade network and host-level detection mechanisms. In addition to healthcare, companies being impacted include those in the financial, manufacturing, oil and gas, and technology industries.
- American Banker reports that the U.S. Conference of Mayors, led by the mayors of Minneapolis and Seattle, has called on the government to relent in its overly aggressive enforcement of AML (Anti-Money Laundering) rules. The Seattle mayor argued that many immigrants want to send financial support to their families back home, and the federal government must find a path to allow these remittances to continue. The article noted that banks have been dealing with stringent anti-money laundering and terrorist financing rules for more than a decade. These regulations have heavily impacted people in countries like Somalia, where many family members of U.S. immigrants rely on remittances to pay for food, housing, and other essentials. The Seattle mayor urged the Secretary of State to resolve this issue in May. However, even if the U.S. government eases its enforcement against banks processing wire transfers to developing countries, the article noted that banks may remain reluctant to continue or restart these banking services due to the fact that the plaintiffs’ bar, supported by the courts, has sued so many banks under the Anti-Terrorism Act of 1990 that many banks may feel it is not financially worth it to provide services to these needy communities.
Legal and Regulations
- The American Federation of Government Employees has filed a class-action lawsuit against the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) and KeyPoint Government Solutions over the failure to protect personnel against the OPM breach, which affects millions of federal employees.
- Social engineering is a major factor in the success of a sophisticated new fraud that’s already resulted in the theft of millions from U.S. corporations. An article in eWeek relates how one company was fooled by an email that appeared legitimate, in which an individual asked the CFO to send a large, but not unusually large wire transfer to a bank. If the email looks real enough and sounds real enough, staff may easily believe it’s legitimate and send the money requested.
- The Chicago Tribune reported that Chicago has implemented a 9% tax on streaming and cloud services which has agitated and confused the local technology community. The “cloud tax” took many people in Chicago by surprise, leaving providers and consumers of streaming and cloud services scrambling to understand the implications. The cloud tax extends ordinances governing two types of taxes — the city amusement tax and the city personal property lease transaction tax. The taxes cover many products streamed to businesses and residents. They also cover use of various online databases that could especially affect businesses. The city expects the taxes to bring in about $12 million a year.
- U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Director James Comey has asked for a “robust debate” on encryption of communications, saying that the technology could come in the way of his doing his job to keep people safe. The recruitment of Americans by the group known as the Islamic State, or ISIL, is increasingly taking place “through mobile messaging apps that are end-to-end encrypted, communications that may not be intercepted, despite judicial orders under the Fourth Amendment.” He added, “There is simply no doubt that bad people can communicate with impunity in a world of universal strong encryption.”
– PC World
- The FBI is alerting U.S. companies of the increasing dangers of Chinese hack attacks. The Daily Beast reports that the bureau sent out warnings to companies Wednesday to be aware of a malicious computer program that has been tied to the breach at the Office of the Personnel Management. The FBI also sent specifics such as the hash values for the malware, called Sakula, so that companies can search their systems to see if they are infected.