Threat Intelligence Blog

Posted December 20, 2016

This weekly brief highlights the latest threat intelligence news to provide insight into the latest threats to various industries.


“Federal regulators have issued new guidance to clarify what uses and disclosures of patient information for public health reporting, surveillance and investigations are permitted under HIPAA’s privacy regulations.

The new fact sheet was issued Dec. 8 by the Department of Health and Human Services Office for Civil Rights, which enforces HIPAA, in collaboration with the HHS’ Office of National Coordinator for Health IT, which oversees policies and standards for electronic health records.

Privacy attorney Kirk Nahra of the law firm Wiley Rein says the new guidance could be helpful in reducing confusion and also in urging healthcare providers to voluntarily share information that isn’t legally required, in most cases, to be disclosed, but which is important to public health agencies’ efforts.”

Healthcare Info Security

Financial Services

“Just months after disclosing a breach that compromised the passwords for a half billion of its users, Yahoo now says a separate incident has jeopardized data from at least a billion more user accounts. The company also warned attackers have figured out a way to log into targeted Yahoo accounts without even supplying the victim’s password.

On September 22, Yahoo warned that a security breach of its networks affected more than 500 million account holders. Today, the company said it uncovered a separate incident in which thieves stole data on more than a billion user accounts, and that the newly disclosed breach is separate from the incident disclosed in September.”

Krebs on Security


“Hackers are stealing people’s computer files and only giving them back if they pay money or accept to infect two other users with the malicious virus, cybersecurity researchers have found.

This type of attack is known as “ransomware” and it involves hackers encrypting files and the user having to pay a ransom in the form of money to get it back. In this ransomware case – known as Popcorn Time – the attackers ask for 1 bitcoin, which is equivalent to $778.79 at the time of publication. If a person pays up, the hackers will unlock the files.”


Law Enforcement

“Twitter has confirmed to The Daily Dot that it has terminated access to user data for Media Sonar, a Canadian company that marketed social-media monitoring tools to U.S. police departments. The service offered to help police “identify illegal activity and threats to public safety” by flagging keywords referencing drugs, bullying, and prostitution.

But flagged terms also included “policebrutality,” “Dissent,” and “justiceformike,” a reference to the 2014 shooting of Michael Brown which sparked widespread protest. That fact was uncovered last year through a public records request by the ACLU of Northern California, which called social media monitoring “part of a pattern of unchecked surveillance” that “risks targeting communities that are already vulnerable to police misconduct.””



“An unclassified email system used by the Pentagon was compromised by Russian hackers in 2015, forcing security teams to take the entire network down in order to fix the breach.

Martin Dempsey, who was at that time Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, told CBS that he was informed of the breach by the Director of the National Security Agency, Admiral Mike Rogers, revealing that in approximately one hour, hackers seized control of the entire email system. ”


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