Monthly News Roundup - June 2015 (TL;DR)

2015-06-02_Reuters

NEWS

Major League Baseball cyber snooping and a US government hack grabbed the biggest headlines in June. But vulnerabilities and breakins involving Apple, Japan’s Pension System, and Kaspersky Labs were also in the news. It’s all summarized in nice bite-sized morsels below:

  • Office of Personnel Management Hacked: Hackers staged a successful break-in of the U.S. federal government’s personnel database. According to initial reports, the personally identifiable information of 4 million employees was pinched from the Office of Personnel Management (OPM). In the days after the story broke, the estimated number of affected employees and applicants expanded to 18 million. Since then, the number has ballooned again to 32 million. If that weren’t bad enough, new revelations indicate that a related attack on security clearance data exposed extremely detailed personal information including background on family members and names of neighbors. Early indications point the blame at operatives working on behalf of the Chinese government, but China denies any wrongdoing.
  • Japan’s Pension System Hacked: The U.S. isn’t the only advanced government getting nailed by cyber attacks. This month, Japan’s Pension Services announced they were hacked by an email virus. Officials estimate 1.25 million Japanese citizens’ personal data was leaked. Pension scandals have wreaked havoc on political fortunes in Japan’s recent past. But as of now, no heads have rolled.
  • FBI Investigating Astros Hack: The sports world is buzzing with the news that the FBI is investigating Major League Baseball’s St. Louis Cardinals. Workers in the Cardinals’ front office allegedly hacked the database of the Houston Astros and stole information on prospective players and trade strategies. Law enforcement officials think the hack may have been staged by employees looking to get revenge on Jeff Luhnow, their former boss who had moved to the Astros organization in 2011.
  • Apple iOS and OS X Flaws Mean Serious Risks: A new study reveals Apple’s mobile and computer operating systems have vulnerabilities that expose passwords and personally identifiable information (PII). The study highlights flaws in the operating systems as well as the App Store approval process – apparently, it can’t vet apps that contain certain malicious code. Check out our blog post for deeper insights on the flaws as well as fixes to improve everyone’s risk exposure.
  • Facebook Partners with Kaspersky to Protect Users: First the good news: Security research firm Kaspersky has created a security tool to improve safety for Facebook users. Kaspersky was hired by Facebook to create the anti-malware program that finds and removes harmful code on computers. According to a Kaspersky spokeswoman, Facebook emails are a major platform for phishing scams. But now, the bad news…
  • Kaspersky Gets Hacked: The Moscow-based research security firm announced it was the victim of a recent cyber attack. While client data remained unharmed, the firm’s own systems and intellectual property were exposed to online thieves. Based on the scope of the attack, the firm believes a government was responsible for the digital breakin.