Your TechSNAP Story | TechSNAP 200

Your TechSNAP Story | TechSNAP 200

A new major security breach at a large health insurance firm could expose 10s of millions, a phone phishing scam anyone could fall for & we celebrate our 200th episode with your TechSNAP stories.

Then its a storage spectacular Q&A & much, much more!

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— Show Notes: —

Security breach at health insurance firm Anthem, could expose 10s of millions

  • “Anthem Inc., the nation’s second largest health insurer, disclosed Wednesday that hackers had broken into its servers and stolen Social Security numbers and other personal data from all of its business lines. “
  • “Anthem didn’t specify how many consumer records may have been breached, but it did say all of the company’s business units are affected. The figures from Anthem’s Web site offer a glimpse at just how big this breach could be: “With nearly 69 million people served by its affiliated companies including more than 37 million enrolled in its family of health plans, Anthem is one of the nation’s leading health benefits companies.””
  • “The company said it is conducting an extensive IT forensic investigation to determine what members are impacted.”
  • It is reported that Anthem has hired Mandiant to investigate the attack
  • Exposed data:
  • Full Name
  • date of birth
  • member ID
  • Social Security number
  • address
  • phone numbers
  • email addresses
  • employment information
  • “According to Anthem’s statement, the impacted (plan/brands) include Anthem Blue Cross, Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Georgia, Empire Blue Cross and Blue Shield, Amerigroup, Caremore, Unicare, Healthlink, and DeCare. The company said impacted members will receive notice via mail which will advise them of the protections being offered to them as well as any next steps.”
  • “Anthem said once the attack was discovered, the company immediately made every effort to close the security vulnerability, contacted the FBI and began fully cooperating with their investigation.”
  • More detailed information is not available yet, but I am sure we’ll be following this story in the weeks to come
  • Additional Coverage – ThreatPost
  • Additional Coverage

Hacked hotel phones used in bank phishing scam

  • “A recent phishing campaign targeting customers of several major U.S. banks was powered by text messages directing recipients to call hacked phone lines at Holiday Inn locations in the south. Such attacks are not new, but this one is a timely reminder that phishers increasingly are using lures blasted out via SMS as more banks turn to text messaging to communicate with customers about account activity.”
  • “The above-mentioned phishing attacks were actually a mix of scams known as “SMiShing” — phishing lures sent via SMS text message — and voice phishing or “vishing,” where consumers are directed to call a number that answers with a voice prompt spoofing the bank and instructing the caller to enter his credit card number and expiration date”
  • It seems Holiday Inn’s telephone switching system may have been hacked, and used to record and exfiltrate the stolen information
  • It is likely the hotel also lost out on business from customers actually trying to reach the hotel, and instead getting fake voice prompts for various banks
  • “According to Jan Volzke, Numbercop’s chief executive, these scams typically start on a Saturday afternoon and run through the weekend when targeted banks are typically closed.”
  • ““Two separate Holiday Inns getting hijacked in such short time suggests there is a larger issue at work with their telephone system provider,” he said. “That phone line is probably sitting right next to the credit card machine of the Holiday Inn. In a way this is just another retail terminal, and if they can’t secure their phone lines, maybe you shouldn’t be giving them your credit card.”
  • “A front desk clerk who answered the line on Tuesday said the hotel received over 100 complaints from people who got text messages prompting them to call the hotel’s main number during the time it was hacked.”
  • “Numbercop says the text message lures were sent using email-to-SMS gateways, but that the company also has seen similar campaigns sent from regular in-network numbers (prepaid mobile phones e.g.), which can be harder to catch. In addition, Volzke said, phishers often will target AT&T and Verizon users for use in furthering these schemes.”
  • Volzke says it’s unfortunate that more financial institutions aren’t communicating with their customers via mobile banking apps. “Banking apps are among the most frequently downloaded and used apps,” Volzke said. “If the user has an app from the bank installed, then if the bank really has something to say they should use the in-app messaging method, not text messages which can be spoofed and are not secure. And yet we see almost no bank making use of this.”
  • “Regardless of whether you communicate with your bank via text message, avoid calling phone numbers or clicking links that appear to have been sent via text message from your bank. Also, be extremely wary of any incoming calls from someone calling from your bank. If you think there may be an issue with your account, your best bet is to simply call the number on the back of your credit or debit card.”
  • Example call recording from Numbercop

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