Good news on the cybercrime front: "Cryptocurrency-related crime fell significantly in 2020," compared to 2019, reports blockchain analysis firm Chainalysis. Unfortunately, in the same timeframe, ransomware profits surged 311%, stoking calls for a crackdown on ransom payments.
The new Biden administration has pledged to hold Russia accountable for its recent "reckless and adversarial" actions and has ordered a full-scale intelligence review of the SolarWinds hack. The moves signal the importance of cybersecurity to President Biden's national security agenda.
The latest edition of the ISMG Security Report features an analysis of the cybersecurity challenges the Biden administration must address. Also featured: payments security advice from Verizon; the outlook for the lifting of restrictions tied to the COVID-19 pandemic.
As the U.S. marks its first anniversary of fighting COVID-19, pandemic expert Regina Phelps says the next several, critical weeks come down to two vital words: vaccines and variants. "Those are going to determine our destiny for the long and foreseeable future," she says.
Privacy watchdogs in Europe have imposed fines totaling more than $330 million since the EU's General Data Protection Regulation went into full effect in May 2018, according to law firm DLA Piper. Over the past year, regulators received 121,000 data breach notifications, up 19% from the year before.
Researchers at the security firm Proofpoint are tracking several fraud schemes leveraging COVID-19 vaccine-themed emails. The schemes include business email compromise scams, messages with malicious attachments and phishing emails designed to harvest credentials.
The U.S. Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency warns that hackers are increasingly targeting cloud services by waging phishing schemes and brute-force attacks. CISA recommends a number of defenses, including regularly reviewing Active Directory sign-in logs and enforcing multifactor authentication.
Documents on COVID-19 vaccines and medications - including some containing personal information - that were stolen in a cyberattack last month on the European Medicines Agency have been leaked on the internet.
The "remote workforce" of 2020 is gone. Now we're talking about the new, permanent "branch office" - and it comes with its own unique set of cybersecurity concerns, says Derek Manky of FortiGuard Labs. He discusses new social engineering trends and how to respond.
Ransomware gangs entered 2020 with a full and dangerous set of weapons at their disposal and then rolled out additional tools such as extortion and new distribution methods, a trend that is expected to continue into 2021.
The U.S. Treasury's Financial Crimes Enforcement Network is alerting financial institutions about the potential for fraud, ransomware attacks or similar types of criminal activity related to COVID-19 vaccine research and distribution organizations.
This edition of the ISMG Security Report features insights from David Forscey, managing director at Aspen Cybersecurity Group, on improving supply chain security in the aftermath of the SolarWinds hack. Also featured: Black Hat Europe's key takeaways; keeping safe during the holidays.
The Lazarus Group, a North Korean advanced persistent threat gang, apparently recently targeted a national ministry of health and a drug manufacturer involved in developing a COVID-19 vaccine in an attempt to steal information, according to the security firm Kaspersky.