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The GlobalSign Cybersecurity News Round-Up: Week of September 28, 2020

The GlobalSign Cybersecurity News Round-Up: Week of September 28, 2020

Hello and welcome back to another cybersecurity round-up. 

It’s been a banner week for cyber attacks. Organizations such as The Swatch Group and French container shipping line magnet CMA CGM announced they’ve been impacted by attacks which took place last weekend. 

In the case of the Swatch Group, the company was forced to shut down some of its IT systems. That happened as soon as the company detected an intrusion. Some operations were affected as a result, but it did not appear to be extremely damaging. As for CMA CGM, the incident appears to have led to a data breach. According to Reuters, CMA CGM’s e-business website was unavailable with customers directed to alternative channels. However, back-office shared services centers were being reconnected and improving processing times. The attack at CMA CGM is significant because now all four of the world’s largest maritime shipping companies have been hit by cyber-attacks in the last three years. Read ZDNet’s take here

Another important event this week was the malware attack at Universal Health Services (UHS), one of the largest hospital and healthcare services providers in the US. The organization’s IT network that supports its facilities was offline due to "an IT security issue." Fortunately patient date was not impacted, at least as of Wednesday. This attack is concerning for many reasons, including the fact that healthcare organizations hold troves of valuable patient data. 

Also reporting an attack this past week was FlightRadar24. The real-time flight-tracking website was hit by a cyber attack that knocked out access to its services for hours. It was the third such attack in two days. 

Finally, a Microsoft report on Tuesday urged organizations to implement multi-factor authentication (MFA). The call for swift MFA implementation came in its new study “Digital Defence Report”. The company strongly advised that infosec teams must focus on cybersecurity basics, including regular application of security updates, comprehensive backup policies and, especially, enabling MFA.

That’s a wrap for the week. Wishing you a great weekend! 

Top Global Security News 

Teiss (September 30, 2020) Swatch Group forced to shut IT systems after detecting a cyber attack

"Swiss watchmaker Swatch Group has said it had to shut down some of its IT systems to effectively respond to a cyber attack that occurred during the weekend.
The Swiss company, which owns a number of world-renowned watch brands such as Omega, Longines, Tissot, Rado, Swatch, Breguet, and Calvin Klein among others, said the precautionary shutdown affected some operations but said the situation will return to normal as soon as possible.

The Swatch Group confirms that it has identified clear signs of a cyber attack under development on some of its IT systems over the weekend. For security reasons, the Group immediately acted and shut down some of its IT systems as a precaution, which affected some operations."


Dark Reading (September 29, 2020) Universal Health Services Network Down in Apparent Ransomware Attack

"Universal Health Services, one of the largest hospital and healthcare services providers in the US, confirmed today that the IT network that supports its facilities is offline in the wake of what it called 'an IT security issue.'

'We implement extensive IT security protocols and are working diligently with our IT security partners to restore IT operations as quickly as possible. In the meantime, our facilities are using their established back-up processes including offline documentation methods. Patient care continues to be delivered safely and effectively,' a UHS spokesperson said in a statement provided to Dark Reading. 'No patient or employee data appears to have been accessed, copied or misused.'"


BBC News (September 30, 2020) Flightradar24 hit by third cyber-attack in two days

"Popular real-time flight-tracking website Flightradar24 was hit by a cyber-attack that knocked out access to its services for hours.

The attack is the third the company has suffered in two days, it said.

Early attempts to restore the site failed, with 'significant instability due to the sustained attacks', it said."


IT World Canada (September 29, 2020) Microsoft urges organizations to adopt multi-factor authentication

"Add Microsoft to the growing chorus of tech companies urging organizations to implement multi-factor authentication as soon as possible to increase their security posture.

In a new study released Tuesday called the Digital Defence Report, Microsoft urged infosec teams to focus on cybersecurity basics, including regular application of security updates, comprehensive backup policies and, especially, enabling multi-factor authentication (MFA).

'Our data shows that enabling MFA would alone have prevented the vast majority of successful attacks,' during the 10 month-period ending in July."


The Load Star (September 28, 2020) CMA CGM hit by cyber attack, but says it's business as usual

"French container shipping line CMA CGM has confirmed it is the latest victim of a cyber attack, after its website and some those of its subsidiaries went down over the weekend.

However, the group’s corporate website,, was working and carried a message on its homepage.

It said: 'The CMA CGM group (excluding Ceva Logistics) is currently dealing with a cyber-attack impacting peripheral servers.'"


BankInfoSecurity (September 28 2020) Want Your Coffee Machine Back? Pay a Ransom

"An internet-connected coffee machine is the latest IoT device to show security problems. The security firm Avast infected the Smarter Coffee machine with ransomware that causes uncontrollable spinning of its grinder and dispensing of hot water. The only option to stop it? Unplug the machine.

The research augments longstanding warnings about IoT: Device manufacturers are paying little attention to security while pushing devices to the market too soon, and they may not provide support for very long (see: Not the Cat's Meow: Petnet and the Perils of Consumer IoT).

Avast Senior Researcher Martin Hron describes in a blog post his reverse-engineering adventure with the first generation of the Smarter Coffee machine, made by Smarter Applications Ltd. The device went on the market around four years ago."


Other Industry News 

Nevada school district refuses to submit to ransomware blackmail, hacker publishes student data

Commission documents reveal vision for European Digital Identity

These hackers have spent months hiding out in company networks undetected

Latin America: COVID-19 Threatens Promise of Digital Economy

4 hot areas for encryption innovation

Critical IIoT security risks cloud IoT's expansion into industry

Europe Sharpens IT Incident Reporting Requirements, Puts Cloud SLAs Under Microscope

This worm phishing campaign is a game-changer in password theft, account takeovers

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