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Air Canada Data Breach

Air Canada Data Breach

Air Canada Data Breach. Canadian Airline, Air Canada, has been forced to issue a password reset to all of its 1.7 million users of its mobile app after a huge number of accounts were compromised by hackers last week.

The company notified its customers of a data breach involving its iOS, Android and BlackBerry mobile application which may have led to the exposure of passport details belonging to around 20,000 customers, approximately 1% of its 1.7 million app users.

The airline released a statement on Wednesday (29 Aug 18) via its website informing the public of the data breach. The company said it detected “unusual login behavior” on the app between August 22 and 24. In a mail to the affected customers, Air Canada says all 1.7 million users will have to reset their account passwords.

“Due to the lаrgе volume, ѕоmе customers mау experience a dеlау іn the process tо сhаngе thеіr passwords. Wе ask customers tо bе patient аnd assure thеm their data іѕ protected аnd nоt accessible tо unauthorized uѕеrѕ.”

Yоur privacy аnd thе protection оf your data аrе extremely іmроrtаnt tо Air Canada,” the airline company said. “Our ѕесurіtу іѕ multilayered, аnd we work wіth leading іnduѕtrу experts tо continuously іmрrоvе our рrасtісеѕ аѕ technology аnd security рrосеdurеѕ evolve.


Resets will automatically happen when a user logs in to the mobile app. Password resets can also be initiated via the Air Canada portal.

Air Canada, apparently, has downplayed the effects of the incident stating that the risk of a third-party individual obtaining a passport in your name is minimal on the proviso that you still have your passport, your identity documents and proof of citizenship.

The Canadian Government cannot issue a new passport tо аnуоnе based only on the information found іn a passport

thе company added.


Despite the Canadian company taking “immediate action” so as to block the attempt to compromise its system, experts warned that users of the Air Canada mobile app who have had their passport details entered into the product may have had that data stolen.

Many experts believe that such information theft poses a serious ID fraud risk. For those 20,000 people believed to be directly affected by the attack, two types of personal information were put at risk:

  • Basic Profile Data such as name, telephone numbers, email address and Air Canada Aeroplan account number.
  • Sensitive Data users might have also added to their profiles, such as passport number and expiration date, passport country of issuance, NEXUS number (a system in some countries allowing rapid border crossing for trusted travelers), traveler number, date of birth, gender, nationality and country of residence.

However, the airline stated that credit card data were not compromised because they were encrypted. Passwords associated with the airline’s Aeroplan points program were also not at risk, but warns users to still monitor transactions on their accounts.

Air Canada joins the ranks of companies that have admitted data breaches in recent months. The airline emphasized that it is adopting improved password guidelines. It’s not yet known if the attack was a direct breach of Air Canada’s systems or the hackers reused users’ passwords from other sites on Air Canada’s mobile app.

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UK Fines Facebook over Cambridge Analytica Scandal


UK Fines Facebook over Cambridge Analytica Scandal. The UK has hit Facebook a fine of $645,000 for the Cambridge Analytica Scandal. It was revealed earlier this year that they had harvested the personal data of millions of profiles without the user’s consent and used it for political purposes. It is estimated that 87 million users were affected.


The fine has been enforced by the UK’s Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) and was calculated using a pre-GDPR formula for data breach fines. Using the UK’s old Data Protection Act to fine Facebook, rather than GDPR they can only give a maximum penalty of £500,000, which is equal to what the social media giant earns every 18 minutes.


GDPR rules dictate a maximum fine of 4% of annual global turnover, which would be $1.6 billion. Unfortunately the the GDPR regulation wasn’t in place when the Cambridge Analytica story broke, coming into force in May 2018.


The UK investigation concluded that Facebook’s APIs had been allowing developers access to users information without them providing proper consent, for a long period of time between 2007 and 2014. Once they realized this loophole existed and patched it up, they did nothing to investigate the data compromised or ensure it was deleted.


[FACEBOOK] should have known better and it should have done better… We considered these contraventions to be so serious we imposed the maximum penalty under the previous legislation. The fine would inevitably have been significantly higher under the GDPR

Information Commissioner Elizabeth Denham said in a statement


Facebook has said they are reviewing the ICO’s findings and stated they “respectfully disagree” with some of the report, but admit they should have done more to protect users data. They also added that they found no evidence that British users profile information was shared with Cambridge Analytica.

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Libssh Security Flaw leaves thousands of servers vulnerable to hijacking

Libssh Security Flaw leaves thousands of servers vulnerable to hijacking

Libssh Security Flaw leaves thousands of servers vulnerable to hijacking. A security flaw in libssh leaves thousands, and potentially more, servers vulnerable to an attack. Libssh is a multiplatform C library which allows users to remotely execute programs, transfer files, manage public keys and use a secure and transparent tunnel.


The security flaw, discovered by Peter Winter-Smith from NCC Group, allows a hacker to bypass the authentication process on the servers and gain access to the system without having to enter a password.


An attacker can do this by sending the SSH server “SSH2_MSG_USERAUTH_SUCCESS” message instead of the “SSH2_MSG_USERAUTH_REQUEST” message that a server usually expects and which libssh uses as a sign that an authentication procedure needs to initiate.


The libssh system will treat this message to mean the authentication has already taken place and allow the attacker access to the server. The flaw (CVE-2018-10933) was released in January 2014 in release 0.6.0.


It’s estimated that the vulnerability currently affects at least 3000 servers, however this is based on a small search and the scale of the problem is not yet known. There were concerns that the popular version control site for developers to work collaboratively on projects, GitHub, was affected but they have released a statement denying this. Github claims the way they use libssh means they are not vulnerable to this exploit.


“We use a custom version of libssh; SSH2_MSG_USERAUTH_SUCCESS with the libssh server is not relied upon for pubkey-based auth, which is what we use the library for,”

a GitHub security official said on twitter


The security flaw is only on the server side, meaning users who have a libssh based SSH client installed on their computer will be safe from potential attackers looking to exploit this vulnerability.


While there are currently no public exploits available for the vulnerability, they are easy to put together so these are likely to pop up online in the coming days and weeks.

The team at libssh released versions 0.8.4 and 0.7.6 yesterday to handle this bug.


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Ad Clicker Disguised as a Google Photos App has been Hosted on Microsoft Store.

Ad Clicker Disguised as a Google Photos App has been Hosted on Microsoft Store

Ad Clicker Disguised as a Google Photos App has been Hosted on Microsoft Store.


A malicious app called “Album by Google Photos” was found to be hosted on the Microsoft store. The app was pretending to be part of Google Photos, but was in fact an ad clicker that generates hidden adverts within the Windows 10 Operating System.


The ad clicker app seemed credible to users because of its name, and also the fact it claimed to be created by Google LLC, Google’s actual Microsoft store account is Google Inc, but it looks unsuspecting to users. Microsoft came under some criticism for not realising the app was actually malicious software since the user reviews did highlight that the app was fake, with plenty of 1* reviews. One review states “ My paid Anti-malware solution detected several attempts to download malware by this app. Watch out”. The App was first released on the Microsoft store in May.


What did the application do?


The “Album by Google Photos” app is a Progressive Web Application (PWA), which acts as the front end for Google Photos and includes a legitimate login screen. Hidden in the app bundle is also an ad clicker which runs in the background and generates income for the app developers.


The app connects to ad URLS, and the ads were very similar to what users would see from typical adware, including tech support scams, random chrome extensions, fake flash and java installs and general low-quality sites.


Microsoft haven’t commented how this app managed to pass the Microsoft review process before ending up on the store.  This is somewhat concerning since it could mean other malicious apps of a similar nature have flown under the radar and are still infecting user’s computers. We are waiting for Microsoft to comment on the issue.

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