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Big Four, Deloitte hacked and who’s next?

In a giantslaying act, the world’s leading accounting firm, Deloitte got hacked and sent shockwave to the rest of the “Big Four” global accounting firms on who’s next on the hit list.

Big Four, Deloitte hacked and who’s next

Big Four, Deloitte hacked and who’s next? In a giant-slaying act, the world’s leading accounting firm, Deloitte got hacked and sent shockwave to the rest of the “Big Four” global accounting firms on who’s next on the hit list.

The attack on accounting giant occurred on Monday, and the details remained sketchy as investigators piece the information together in crime scene investigation fashion.


A simple password does all the tricks

It was reportedly a single password was all its take to “slay” the Deloitte’s cyber-security on its email server through an administrator account. After successful login with password, the unauthorized user is able to access various areas which are otherwise restricted from outsiders and even staffs unless granted with the appropriate rights.

The focus of attack was locked on Deloitte’s asset at Rosslyn, Virginia, United States and the company immediately notified the authorities after the attack.


No privacy for staff emails

According to The Guardian, emails of around 244,000 staffs are exposed through this incident alone. Many of these emails were stored in the company’s Azure Microsoft’s Cloud service which consists of Deloitte user names, passwords, IP addresses, company architecture, and health information, based on media report from The Guardian.

So far, the hacking damage paled in comparison to recent cyber-attack seen in Equifax, where the details of around 143 million customers were leaked.


Victims claimed so far

As of now, none of the affected companies’ name were identified but six companies and some government agencies were among the victims. Perhaps the extent of the damage remained to be contested for a while as further investigation takes place. Apparently, Deloitte’s email system shows a history of being hacked, as previously in Oct-Nov 2016, which the company only acknowledged the hack four months later on March this year.


Not your average panama papers leak

The motive of the hack does not seem to be as noble as the panama papers leak which 11.5 million documents were leaked in a whistle-blowing manner to reveal offshore tax evasion and fraud. Like all corporations, Deloitte has its fair share of controversies and if a similar “panama papers driven leak” was on the mind of hackers, our guess will be on the incident of ActionAid.

Back in November 2013, Deloitte was accused by international non-governmental organization, ActionAid of using Mauritius as a tax haven to hide hundreds of millions of dollars from taxation by a list of poor African nations.

Most likely, Hackwarenews thinks that the breach in Deloitte’s email system is commercially motivated in revealing sensitive information for blackmailing purposes.


Striking Terror to the rest

Deloitte is currently in the lead among the “Big Four” or the world’s largest accounting and auditing services, booking an annual revenue over USD38 billion in fiscal year of 2017. Other in the Big Four includes PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), EY and KPMG.

By claiming Deloitte as its victim, the hacker certainly sent shockwaves to other accounting firms, telling that they may be next in line. Or perhaps, the message is clear that no one is safe in this cyber-age and often complacency and negligence prove to be the biggest culprit in security breaches.

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Ransom attacks on high profile Instagram accounts

Ransom attacks on high profile Instagram accounts

Ransom attacks on high profile Instagram accounts. There has been wave of attacks in which hackers demand bitcoin in order for the Instagram user to get their account back, they threaten to delete the account if the ransom isn’t paid.


There have been several victims of this attack, and they all claim to have received the same message from an attacker named “Pumpam”. The message lets the victim know that the hackers have possession of the account, and to email a particular address in order to start the recovery. It also mentions that the account will be deleted within 3 hours if there is no response.


Victims of the attack found that they could not recover the account through Instagram, as the account’s email address had been changed. This frustration and desperation to get possession of their accounts lead some users to pay the ransom. However, this wasn’t always successful, with some victims claiming that their account was still deleted.


Many of the victims feel let down by Instagram after they didn’t play an active role in helping them gain control of their accounts. Victims felt frustrated dealing with Instagram’s customer support when they only received generic responses to the issue, however this changed when vice’s tech arm Motherboard contacted Instagram about the issue and helped the users get possession back.


At present few details are known about the hacking campaign, including the hacker’s identities and where they are from. We urge Instagram users to be vigilant about their account security, make sure you have a secure password, that you back up your content in the event it is deleted, and don’t click on any nefarious looking links.

Photo by Katka Pavlickova on Unsplash

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50 Million accounts exposed after Facebook security breach

50 Million accounts exposed after Facebook security breach
50 Million accounts exposed after Facebook security breach. Facebook has revealed that almost 50 million of its users accounts were left exposed due to a security flaw. Facebook has more than two billion active monthly users, making security a high priority concern. The security breach has caused Facebook’s shares to drop by 3% on Friday, 28 September.


The breach was discovered this week, and is the latest controversy surrounding Facebook after British company Cambridge Analytica gained access to information of 87 million users, and the controversy surrounding disinformation in elections. However, this breach has been the largest in the company’s 14-year history.


Facebook has said the attackers exploited two bugs in the site’s “View as” feature. The feature, which was designed to give users a clearer view of their presence and more control over their privacy, allows users to check what information other people can see about them. The flaw allowed users to gain “access tokens” which allow access to accounts, through Facebook’s video-uploading program for birthday celebrations. Although it’s not yet known when the attack happened, it seems to occurred after the video-uploading program was introduced. Attacked attempted to harvest user’s personal identifiable information (PII). After the attack was discovered, Facebook forced 90 million users to log out. Facebook has not announced where in the world the 50 million users are.


There have been some major changes in Facebook’s security teams after its Chief Security Officer, Alex Stamos left in August this year for a teaching position at Stanford University. Facebook decided to split the team members so that security employees work within different teams across the company, in order to make security an innate part of Facebook.


Facebook’s data breach was a trending topic on Friday with users posting the breaking story as news outlets released it. User’s found that some of their posts were removed because Facebook’s algorithm saw them as suspicious activity or spam.

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US Online Retail Company suffered a data breach affecting 6.5 million customers

US Online Retail Company suffered a data breach affecting 6.5 million customers. SHEIN debuted in 2008, and steadily grew to become one of the most acclaimed online women’s fashion stores. Their aim is to provide cutting edge fashion with an affordable price tag. The website primarily caters to women age 16-35, and is US based but ships to over 80 countries.

They recently discovered that their servers had been compromised by hackers in an attack that spanned from June 2018 until 22 August 2018 when the threat was recognised. Once SHEIN were away of the threat, they acted immediately, scanning the servers for weaknesses that were exploited and removed all possible back door entry points to the servers.

SHEIN have been selective with what information they have shared with the public; however we do know that email addresses and encrypted password information was obtained from the attack. We recommend that if you have an account with SHEIN, that you change your password as soon as possible, it is also good practise to use different passwords as often as you can, and make them complex, a password manager can help you keep track of your passwords.

The only promising news about this incident is that SHEIN don’t believe any payment card details were obtained by the hackers. However, SHEIN have enlisted an international forensic cyber security team to conduct a thorough investigation into the breach, and as a result will update users on their data if new information comes to light over the coming months.

If you do believe your payment card information has been compromised, the best thing to do is to contact your bank immediately, they will be able to issue a new card and enact any necessary security measures.

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