Posts

We know, you’re all tired of changing your passwords and hearing from IT that you’ve got to pick a new one you haven’t used before every 30 nanoseconds. The reason might not be what you think.

Read more

Bloomberg reports that Facebook has been hacked, again.

Insttake: This won’t seriously affect the breached users. However, it continues to show that Facebook has been more focused on growth than security over the last several years. They will harvest that for years to come.

JM Addington Technology Solutions provides managed services to Knoxville, Knox County, Lenoir City, Loudon County and surrounding regions

The News Sentinel is reporting that Knox County computer systems were breached the night of the primary. It was a two stage attack, complete with with a distraction. Here is the short version.

First, the website to report election results came under a distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack. The bad guys sent more traffic to it than it could handle. This is remarkably easy to do today, as multiple services on the dark web will allow you to purchase attacks against websites of your choice. This attack, while real, wasn’t the target, it was just meant to draw IT’s attention away from the core infrastructure and servers.

Sword and Shield, a Knoxville based security company, was contracted to investigate the incident. Their official report says that logs indicate an attempt to access the database sitting behind the webserver. Further testing revealed that there was a security hole that was active on election night, although it would not have been possible to tamper with the election results remotely.

Double staged attacks like this are very common today: as noted above it’s easy to start a DDoS attack against a website, which is highly noticeable. It quickly draws away the top level talent in an organization to deal with it while hackers attempt to quietly infiltrate in a different route. It’s the digital equivalent of setting a paper bag on fire on the front porch and then going and breaking in the basement window. The fire is meant to be noticed.

It’s fortunate that the election results were not tampered with, and the Knox County appears to have done a great job designing the voting system to make hacking it very difficult. This would be a good time for them to look at prevention on website attacks as well.

Further Reading

NPR

Sword and Shield Report

Huffington Post

WBIR

TechCrunch

Even managed service providers run into scams, this is an article about such a scam

This afternoon one of our technicians was chatting with a legitimate support rep from a well-known vendor. The support rep correctly said that he could not help with the issue over web chat but to call 855-785-2511. When our technician called it was clearly a scam company behind the operation:

  • They wanted to charge for free support
  • They wanted to use remote tools that this vendor does not use
  • They didn’t have a clue on how to solve the issue

This post exists just to serve as a warning to others that 855-785-2511 is clearly a scam phone number.

SunTrust Bank quietly announced Friday, April 20th, 2018 that a former employee was working with a “criminal third party” and may have passed along information from as many as 1.5 million client accounts.

Affected customers appear to be being notified by email with this message:

Dear <CUSTOMER>,

SunTrust cares deeply about your privacy and the security of your information. We became aware of potential theft by a former employee of information from some of our client contact lists, as we shared in a news release on Friday, April 20, 2018. We are still investigating in cooperation with law enforcement. We apologize that you are one of our clients who may have been affected, as your continued trust is critical to us.

Given this, we are proactively notifying you that certain information, including your name, address, phone number and certain account balances may have been affected. The contact lists did not include personally identifying information, such as your social security number, account number, PIN, User ID, password, or driver’s license number.

Your confidence is at the core of our purpose, and we want you to know that we have heightened our monitoring of your accounts and increased other related security measures. While we have not identified significant fraudulent activity, know that you will not be responsible for any fraud on your SunTrust accounts as a result of this incident.

At no cost to you, we recommend that you enroll in the IDnotify(tm) service provided by Experian(r) which includes:

*   A personalized Experian credit report at signup;
*   Experian Credit Monitoring for indicators of fraud;
*   Dark Web monitoring;
*   Identity Restoration specialists available for immediate help to address credit and non-credit related fraud; and
*   $1 Million Identity Theft Insurance reimbursement for certain costs associated with a stolen identity event, subject to the terms of the policy.

To enroll in IDnotify:

*   Log into your Online Banking account at www.suntrust.com and follow the instructions; or
*   If you do not have an Online Banking account, please visit https://www.suntrust.com/identity-protection and follow the instructions.

To best protect your information, we recommend you consider additional steps that can be found here<https://www.suntrust.com/fraud-and-security-department>. You also will receive more information from SunTrust in the mail.

Protecting your information is a top priority for SunTrust, and we appreciate the opportunity to serve you.

Mark A. Chancy
Vice Chairman

You can probably expect no to very little follow up on this, ever. As always, one of the best things you can do to protect yourself is to freeze your credit. In this case, we’d recommend checking your balance every day along with recent transactions as well.

Remember, ACH and checking fraud do not carry the same protections as credit cards. Also, while SunTrust says that personally identifying information was not leaked it’s nearly impossible to know after the fact, which this finding appears to be.