David Tutin
April 5, 2023

March madness: major cybersecurity breaches impact millions, highlighting importance of proactive measures

The variety and scope of cyberattack strategies continue to make headlines, with recent incidents once again underlining the continuing risks. March was a busy month for high-profile breaches, with millions of customer records stolen and entire businesses put under threat.

In Australia, for example, Latitude, a major finance business, recently disclosed that 14 million customers had been affected by a major security breach. Having stolen an employee’s login credentials, the threat actor gained access to two of the company’s service providers, and from there, to customer data. As reported by Bleeping Computer, the company’s incident response included “shutting down customer-facing systems to contain the attack while the investigations to reveal the full scope of the impact continued.” According to recent media reports, the company could now face a class action lawsuit following what is said to be Australia’s largest data breach.

Ferrari has also disclosed a customer data breach, but this time accompanied by a ransom demand. According to a statement issued by the company, “As a policy, Ferrari will not be held to ransom as paying such demands funds criminal activity and enables threat actors to perpetuate their attacks.” Media reports suggested that the threat actors may not have encrypted Ferrari’s data, having chosen to “skip the tedious encryption process, given the widespread use of backups.”

Elsewhere, Linus Tech Tips, a hugely popular technology-focused YouTube channel with over 15 million subscribers, recently fell victim to a potentially disastrous file-based cybersecurity hack when a member of the team running the channel was targeted with a fake sponsorship offer. Having opened an accompanying PDF file, malware was activated that allowed the attackers to steal session tokens and then run crypto scam videos on several of their channels.

If that wasn’t bad enough, around 10 years of content was deleted by the attackers, and as Linus put it in a follow-up debrief video, he watched his “life’s work disappearing before my eyes” as he raced to try and regain control. Thankfully, and with the help of YouTube, they were eventually able to restore the channel, but not before suffering a huge scare.

These recent incidents once again underline the importance of prioritising proactive cybersecurity measures to prevent breaches. A crucial aspect is addressing file-based attacks, such as the one affecting Linus Tech Tips. Content Disarm and Reconstruction (CDR) is a valuable proactive tool, as it removes potentially malicious content from files while retaining their original functionality.

By implementing CDR and other security measures, along with proper employee training and vigilance, businesses can reduce the risk of cyberattacks and minimize the resulting damage. Ultimately, maintaining a strong cybersecurity posture requires a combination of technological solutions, awareness, and collaboration.

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