Threat Intelligence Blog

Posted February 14, 2018

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


“Star Telegram reports Texas being the fourth most targeted state for cyberattacks in the United States.”Billions of attempted cyberattacks, many of which are automated, hammer computers throughout Texas each month, threatening everyone from the average citizen sitting at a laptop to Fortune 500 companies and government networks loaded with confidential data.” Foreign operatives from a multitude of countries, notably Russia and China, also manipulate and scour U.S. computer systems, either looking for information or conducting mischief. Russia’s alleged meddling to influence the 2016 elections is the most notorious example, but experts say even modest-sized towns in Texas are vulnerable to foreign computer spies, possibly looking for economic data or information on infrastructure such as factories or defense plants. “In 2017, Texas had 105 breaches that resulted in the theft of 2.5 million records, more than five times the 505,088 records stolen the previous year, according to newly released findings by the non-profit Identity Theft Resource Center. The breaches in Texas constituted 6.6 percent of the record number of 1,579 breaches reported nationwide”, said spokeswoman Charity Lacey.”


Information Security Risk

“A Swiss mobile phone operator has admitted its data systems were breached late last year and the contact details of about 800,000 customers were compromised. Swisscom said that the names, addresses, telephone numbers and dates of birth of customers were accessed by an unknown party, which got the data through a sales partner of Swisscom. The company was not named. It said it discovered the incident through a routine check of its activities and was carrying out an in-depth investigation. The 800,000 customers represent almost 10% of Switzerland’s overall population. It said any unusual activity on third-party accounts would now trigger an alarm and block access.”


Legal, Litigation, + Regulatory Risk

“A senior South Korean official said the government has no plans to shut down cryptocurrency trading, welcome news for investors worried that authorities might go as far as China’s tough action in blocking virtual coin platforms. Reinforcing Seoul’s intent to tighten the screws on a market widely seen as opaque and risky by global policymakers, South Korea announced it had uncovered illegal cryptocurrency foreign exchange trading worth nearly $600 million. “Customs service has been closely looking at illegal foreign exchange trading using cryptocurrency as part of the government’s task force,” it said. Illegal foreign currency trading of 472.3 billion formed the bulk of the cryptocurrency crimes, it said in a statement, but gave no details on what action authorities were taking against the rule breaches.”


Reputational Risk 

“A Swiss financial institution has been fined HK$39.3 million ($5 million) by Hong Kong regulators for various internal control failures spanning a 14-year period. Several Hong Kong units of the Swiss bank failed to segregate client securities from the firm’s own securities, didn’t report trades correctly, and didn’t configure algorithmic trading systems properly, among breaches identified by the Securities and Futures Commission according to a statement. The failures dated back as far as April 2003 and affected thousands of transactions, the SFC said. The bank also paid HK$7.6 million to compensate clients involved in 10 unsuitable or inconclusive transactions, the statement said. The penalty was the second-largest monetary fine handed out in the past 12 months.”


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