Health Care System Notifies 29K Patients of Privacy Breach

An American health care system is notifying 29,000 patients of a privacy breach that might have exposed their medical records.

On 29 December 2017, SSM Health published a statement about a security incident it had learned about two months earlier. The not-for-profit organization, which employs 1,600 physicians and 33,000 other individuals in Wisconsin, Oklahoma, Illinois, and Missouri, launched an investigation to determine what had happened. Its analysis revealed that a former employee at a customer care call center had inappropriately accessed protected health information (PHI), specifically medical records belonging to a small number of patients who had a controlled substance prescription and a primary care physician in St. Louis.

The statement clarifies that the employee had access to PHI, including demographic and clinical information, in order to perform the duties of his job.

It’s believed the event, which classifies as a privacy breach under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), first started on 13 February of 2017.

SSM Health is currently in the process of notifying all 29,000 patients whose information the former employee might have accessed. Those victims can take advantage of identity theft protection services offered to them by SSM Health at no cost. Additionally, while it works with the Office for Civil Rights and local law enforcement to better understand what happened, the provider is taking steps to better secure its systems and monitor employee access.

Scott Didion, system privacy officer at SSM Health, has apologized to all those whom the incident might have affected:

We take very seriously our role of safeguarding our patients’ personal information, and we deeply regret any inconvenience or concern this situation may have caused our patients.

In an age of insider threats and other digital security risks, it’s important that companies take the necessary steps to maintain the security and integrity of their electronic medical record (EMR) systems.


via:  tripwire

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​Opera just added a Bitcoin-mining blocker to its browser

Finally, a browser is doing something to protect users from drive-by crypto-miners.

Norwegian browser maker Opera has launched the beta version of Opera 50, the first popular browser to integrate a built-in cryptocurrency-mining blocker.

The feature offers a new defense against the rise of cryptojacking or browser-based cryptocurrency miners that use a site visitor’s CPU without gaining the owner’s consent.

Crooks are increasingly hiding JavaScript miners on compromised websites and some have taken to deploying sneaky pop-under windows to continue using a CPU even after the victim has left the site, while groups using fake tech support scams have started integrating JavaScript miners into their bogus security-warning browser lockscreens.

“Your CPU suddenly working at 100 percent capacity, the fan is going crazy for seemingly no reason, and your battery quickly depleting might all be signs that someone is using your computer to mine for cryptocurrency,” said Opera.


NoCoin blocks in-browser cryptominers

Image: Liam Tung/ZDNet

Opera’s cryptocurrency mining protection is part of Opera’s built-in ad blocker. The company has tried to differentiate itself with a range of novel features, such as the ad-blocker and a built-in VPN.

To enable the mining protection, users need to go to Settings or Preferences. The NoCoin (Cryptocurrency) setting can be found in Recommended lists of ad filters in the Block ads page.

“With NoCoin turned on, pages embedded with cryptocurrency mining scripts will be blocked in a similar way our mechanism blocks ads,” said Opera desktop QA Kornelia Mielczarczyk.

In the beta at least, the NoCoin option is enabled by default. The feature works by blocking cryptocurrency mining scripts.


More to Check out:


Windows security: Cryptocurrency miner malware is enslaving PCs with EternalBlue


500 million PCs are being used for stealth cryptocurrency mining online


Android security: Coin miners show up in apps and sites to wear out your CPU


via:  zdnet

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CEO of Major UK-Based Cryptocurrency Exchange Kidnapped in Ukraine


Pavel Lerner, a prominent Russian blockchain expert and known managing director of one of the major crypto-exchanges EXMO, has allegedly been kidnapped by “unknown” criminals in the Ukranian capital of Kiev.

According to Ukraine-based web publication Strana, Lerner, 40-year-old citizen of Russia, was kidnapped on December 26 when he was leaving his office in the center of town (located on the Stepan Bandera Avenue).

Unknown kidnappers in dark clothes and balaclavas dragged Lerner in their black Mercedes-Benz Vito brand (state number AA 2063 MT) car and drove away in an unknown direction.

The information comes from an anonymous source in Ukrainian law enforcement agencies, though multiple investigations are currently underway to find out why and by whom Lerner was kidnapped.

Lerner is a recognized IT specialist in Ukraine who led a number of startups related to blockchain technology development and mining operations.

Lerner is also the managing director of EXMO, a major UK-based cryptocurrency exchange founded in 2013 and well-known with Russians for accepting ruble payments.

Law enforcers in Kiev have begun an investigation and are currently conducting search operation, working out all possible leads in the case which is described as the kidnapping.

EXMO’s representatives confirmed media reports in a statement to a local crypto journal BitNovosti and appealed for any information that could lead to the finding of Lerner.

Unknown kidnappers in dark clothes and balaclavas dragged Lerner in their black Mercedes-Benz Vito brand (state number AA 2063 MT) car and drove away in an unknown direction.

The information comes from an anonymous source in Ukrainian law enforcement agencies, though multiple investigations are currently underway to find out why and by whom Lerner was kidnapped.

Lerner is a recognized IT specialist in Ukraine who led a number of startups related to blockchain technology development and mining operations.

Lerner is also the managing director of EXMO, a major UK-based cryptocurrency exchange founded in 2013 and well-known with Russians for accepting ruble payments.

Law enforcers in Kiev have begun an investigation and are currently conducting search operation, working out all possible leads in the case which is described as the kidnapping.

EXMO’s representatives confirmed media reports in a statement to a local crypto journal BitNovosti and appealed for any information that could lead to the finding of Lerner.


via:  thehackernews

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Kernel Exploit for Sony PS4 Firmware 4.05 Released, Jailbreak Coming Soon


Wishing you all a very ‘belated’ Merry Christmas. This holiday season Santa has a very special gift for all PlayStation gamers.
Developer SpecterDev finally released a fully-functional much-awaited kernel exploit for PlayStation 4 (firmware 4.05) —almost two months after Team Fail0verflow
revealed the technical details of it.

Now available on Github, dubbed “namedobj,” the kernel exploit for the PlayStation 4 on 4.05FW allows users to run arbitrary code on the gaming console, enabling jailbreaking and kernel-level modifications to the system.
Although PS4 kernel exploit does not include Jailbreak code, others can develop a full jailbreak exploit using it.
Jailbreaking allows users to run custom code on the console and install mods, cheats, third-party applications, and games that are typically not possible because of the anti-piracy mechanisms implicated on the Sony PlayStation.
“This release, however, does not contain any code related to defeating anti-piracy mechanisms or running homebrew,” SpecterDev said.
“This exploit does include a loader that listens for payloads on port 9020 and will execute them upon received.”

It should be noted that for some users it may not work as smooth as it sounds.

“This exploit is actually incredibly stable at around 95% in my tests. WebKit very rarely crashes and the same is true with kernel. I’ve built in a patch so the kernel exploit will only run once on the system. You can still make additional patches via payloads,” SpecterDev warned.

PS4 gamers who are running firmware version lower than 4.05 can simply update their console to take advantage of this exploit.
Of course, Sony would not be happy with the launch of PlayStation 4 kernel exploit and would be trying hard to eliminate any vulnerability for the most recent version of PS4 firmware.


via:  thehackernews

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Google’s New Earbuds Translate Dozens Of Languages In Real Time

We know we’ve gotten excited about translating technology in the past and have already made comparisons to the Babel Fish from The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy. However, Google’s upcoming Pixel Buds are yet another step in the direction of complete universal understanding AND they don’t require sticking anything living into your ear canals.



Google’s latest cell phone accessory innovation will be able to translate 40 languages with the assistance of the already useful Google Translate software. The advancement this time around is that they’ll be able to do it in real time. Jump to about 1:15 in the video below to see them in action.



A recent Google Blog post explains that the Pixel Buds will be “like you’ve got your own personal translator with you everywhere you go” and although the process isn’t as instantaneous as its Hitchhikers counterpart, it’s pretty damn close. Users need only activate the Pixel Buds and make a request like “Help me speak Italian.” and the phone and earbuds will get to work. As you talk, your Pixel 2’s speaker (you’ll need a Pixel or Pixel 2 for now) will translate your speech to the language of your choice and—as someone responds in the chosen language—the buds will pump audio of the translation back into your dear ol’ monolingual ear holes.

The Pixel Buds are due out November of 2017 and are currently available for pre-order for $159 which isn’t too bad for such a handy piece of tech. Considering you’re likely to spend at least $649 on the new Pixel 2, why not go all out, right? (pretending to have lots of money is fun, isn’t it?)


Now we will have to see how they compare to the Pilot Translating Earpiece.





What do you think about the new Pixel Buds? Are we headed down a road where Babel Fish won’t ever be needed in interstellar travel? What other sort of future tech do you want in your phone?


via:  nerdist

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Amazon acquires connected camera and doorbell startup Blink

Amazon has acquired Blink (via Slashgear), a startup founded in 2014 that builds connected Wi-Fi home security cameras, as well as a new video doorbell introduced earlier this week. The company got its start via a crowdfunding campaign that raised over $1 million for its totally wireless home monitoring system.

Amazon has already made forays into connected home video cameras and even home entry products, including its Cloud Cam and Amazon Key offering for remotely enabling access to your home for delivery people dropping off packages.

What Blink brings to the table is expertise in building connected, wireless home monitoring and security tech that also operates completely wire-free requiring no complicated installation and running on simple, readily available replaceable batteries.

Blink’s Doorbell, for instanced, operates on two AA batteries and should last for about two years of regular use on those. That’s a lot better than rival Ring’s wireless doorbell in terms of battery life – and it costs less, too, at just $99 per unit, with many similar features including motion detection, two-way audio, waterproofing and night vision.

Amazon is clearly interested in owning more of the connected home space, after having tremendous success in the bourgeoning market via products like its Alexa smart speaker. This should have rivals including Ring and Alphabet-owned Nest worried, since between its own offerings and now Blink’s, it has a lot to offer consumers in terms of cost and convenience benefits.


via:  techcrunch

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Data Breach Potentially Struck Tallahassee Utility Customers

A data breach at a payment processor might have compromised the personal and financial information of some Tallahassee utility customers.

Tallahassee Treasurer Clerk Jim Cooke is warning that a breach at TIO Networks, a company used by Florida’s capital to help people pay their bills, might have affected an untold number of utility customers in the area. He estimates that about 10 percent of local utility customers use remote locations to pay their bills. Even so, it’s difficult to hone in on who exactly might be victims of the incident.

As he told WCTV Eyewitness News:

For the vast majority of city utility customers, they would be unaffected. Unless a customer received a letter directly from TIO Networks, then they don’t have anything to be worried about. [Those who might be affected] would be persons who made a payment, by check at a remote location such as a convenience store or a credit union.

Anyone who submitted payment in this manner between 2008 and 2017 could be affected.

News of the breach first emerged in mid-November when PayPal Holdings, Inc. decided to temporarily suspend operations of TIO Networks. After acquiring the company in July 2017, the American company that offers online payment solutions decided to take TIO Networks offline after identifying the potential compromise of 1.6 million customers’ information. That data includes customers’ names, addresses, and banking information.

The incident affected TIO Networks but not PayPal, as its network remains separate from that of its acquisitions.

TIO Networks has apologized for the breach and is working to make amends:

We sincerely regret this incident and are working hard to protect you and your personal information. In addition to suspending its services, TIO contacted the appropriate law enforcement and other authorities, and has brought in outside cybersecurity experts to investigate.

We are also providing you with one year of complimentary identity protection that includes credit monitoring, identity theft insurance, and assistance with combating identity theft and fraud should any be detected.

While the company continues its investigation of the incident, Tallahassee utility customers should monitor their financial accounts for any signs of identity theft or credit card fraud. If they notice anything suspicious, they should inform the relevant authorities. Additionally, they should consider setting up account notifications for their bank and credit card accounts as well as placing security freezes on their credit reports at each of the four main credit bureaus.

Residents of Tallahassee who are looking to pay their utility bills can still do so at the Frenchtown Renaissance Center, online, or via a dedicated mobile app.


via:  tripwire

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Xage emerges from stealth with a blockchain-based IoT security solution

Getting the myriad of devices involved in the industrial internet of things provisioned and communicating with one another in a secure way will be one of the great technological challenges facing companies in the coming years. Xage (prounounced Zage) emerged from stealth today with a blockchain-based security solution that could help simplify this.

The company also announced that Duncan Greatwood has joined the company as CEO. Greatwood is an experienced entrepreneur, who sold Topsy to Apple in 2013 and PostPath to Cisco in 2008. These exits have given him the freedom to pick and choose the projects he wants to work on, and he liked what he saw at Xage from a technology perspective.

“This is an area where a wave of change is sweeping through the industry. Security is a foundational element of this innovation,” Greatwood told TechCrunch.

He said that Xage is building a security fabric for IoT, which takes blockchain and synthesizes it with other capabilities to create a secure environment for devices to operate. If the blockchain is at its core a trust mechanism, then it can give companies confidence that their IoT devices can’t be compromised. Xage thinks that the blockchain is the perfect solution to this problem.

They do this by building a trusted network of people, machines and applications on the blockchain, which creates an irrefutable connection among these different entities and prevents anyone who has not been given explicit permission from gaining access.

“The blockchain is operating like a distributed, redundant tamper-proof data store. It connects with policies pushed from the cloud or configured locally. The [security] fabric enables the devices and AI and people to communicate with each other and controls the flow of information,” he explained.

Greatwood says this is helping solve a huge IoT security challenge because of the tremendous risk that’s inherent when everything can talk to everything. “Any to any communication at the edge with many devices is the worst case scenario for security because you are creating the maximum attack surface,” he said.

But, he says, Xage’s blockchain approach flips that because the more participation you have, the more secure it’s going to be. “The more participants you have, the more security you have, the more redundancy you have, the harder it is to attack the system and break the consensus the blockchain is there to establish,” he said.

What ends up getting deployed is a security fabric, a set of gateways and client devices on the industrial edge that form the blockchain among themselves,” he said. “ The company is working with IBM on the Hyperledger Fabric project to build their blockchain along with some of the Ethereum technology.

The product is generally available today. The company is located in Palo Alto and currently has 20 employees. Among their early customers are ABB and Itron, which is using the technology to provision smart electricity meters.


via:  techcrunch

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Data Breach Exposes 300K RootsWeb Users’ Login Credentials

A data breach has exposed the login credentials belonging to 300,000 users of RootsWeb, a service owned and sponsored by

On 4 December 2017, someone posted a file containing the usernames and plaintext passwords of 300,000 users to a hacker forum. An analysis of the dump, which was still available for download as of 27 December 2017, suggests the hackers infiltrated the domain rsl[dot]rootsweb[dot]ancestry[dot]com. They then stole the information from a server maintained by for RootsWeb, a free online genealogical community which allows members to participate in mailing lists and message boards.

As reported by HackRead, independent security researcher Troy Hunt ultimately found the data dump. His investigation indicates that the breach occurred in 2015 and that was unaware of the incident at the time. So he reached out to the for-profit genealogy company and gave them the file.

image’s information security team subsequently reviewed the file and determined that the information contained therein was legitimate. Tony Blackham, CISO of the service, explains more of what the security personnel found:

Though the file contained 300,000 email/usernames and passwords, through our analysis we were able to determine that only approximately 55,000 of these were used both on RootsWeb and one of the Ancestry sites, and the vast majority of those were from free trial or currently unused accounts. Additionally, we found that about 7,000 of those password and email address combinations matched credentials for active Ancestry customers. As part of our investigation, our team also uncovered other usernames that were present on the RootsWeb server that, though not on the file shared with us, we reasonably believe could have been exposed externally. We are taking the additional step of informing those users as well.

We believe the intrusion was limited to the RootsWeb surname list, where someone was able to create the file of older RootsWeb usernames and passwords as a direct result of how part of this open community was set up, an issue we are working to rectify.

Blackham goes on to note that he has no reason to believe any Ancestry systems were compromised. He also reassured those affected by the breach that sensitive information including their financial data and Social Security Numbers are safe.

In response to the breach, has temporarily taken RootsWeb offline while it works to make sure all user data is “safe and preserved.” It’s also locked all 55,000 users affected by the RootsWeb breach and notified them of the incident. Those users must change their passwords if they wish to regain access to their accounts.

Those affected by the breach can use these experts’ advice to create a strong, unique password for their profile and other web profiles.

Meanwhile, the genealogical service has said it will continue to work with regulators and law enforcement to investigate the breach and minimize its impact.


via:  tripwire

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4 ways CISOs can improve security operations, increase ROI

Organizations will spend more on security operations, but CISOs need metrics to demonstrate ROI.

Overall, security operations are quite difficult, many organizations complain about too many manual processes, too many disconnected point tools, and a real shortage of the right skills. These issues can lead to lengthy incident detection and response cycles or worse yet, damaging data breaches. Just ask Equifax.

A recent ESG survey of 412 cybersecurity and IT professionals about their organization’s security analytics and operations found organizations know they have problems and are willing to address them. For example, 33% say their spending on security operations will increase significantly, while another 49% indicate that their security operations spending will increase somewhat.

While security operations spending will increase, it’s worth noting that 30% of cybersecurity professionals say that their biggest security operations challenge is the total cost of ownership. What does this mean? CISOs are willingly spending millions of dollars on security operations but getting marginal security efficacy and poor operational efficiency.

How CISOs can improve security operations

As the ESG data points out, business executives are more than willing to throw money at security operations problems, but they will demand that CISOs present them with all types of metrics demonstrating that increased investment is actually leading to improved results, such as improving the time needed for incident detection and response.

Bolstering these metrics won’t be easy, but based upon ESG research, CISOs can make progress by doing the following:

  • Creating a SOAPA integration plan. Leading CISOs are actively consolidating security technologies, eliminating vendors, and building a security operations and analytics platform architecture to unify detection and response tools across a common architecture.
  • Pushing for process automation and orchestration. Even well-resourced security teams can’t keep up with the scale and complexity of today’s threat landscape. Progressive organizations are using automation and orchestration for use cases such as investigations, threat hunting, and automated remediation to accelerate processes.
  • Unifying security and IT operations teams. Too often these teams have different goals and compensation, and they use diverse sets of tools in pursuit of their organizational mission. CIOs and CISOs are getting together to tear down walls between these groups, while SOAPA enables disparate groups to share data, prioritize tasks, and automate remediation actions.
  • Adopting advanced analytics. Amidst all of the industry hype, true innovation is happening in areas such as artificial intelligence and machine learning. CISOs should carefully research these technologies, determine which analytics tools fit their organization’s skills and strength, and embrace pilot projects.

As CISOs move forward with these initiatives, they should continually determine how to measure and report incremental and ongoing advancement they achieve with risk management, security efficacy, and operational efficiency. Successful CISOs will be the ones who can demonstrate and communicate real and honest progress anytime they are asked to do so. 


via:  csoonline

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