The Intrinium Review, February 2021

The Intrinium Review, February 2021
February has been an intense month for cyber attacks that stretch the bounds of what has been seen before.

  • Hackers have found a new and unexpected way to phish – using Morse code.
  • Bad actors attacked a water supply utility in Florida, leading to concern for hundreds of citizens.
  • Identity theft has soared as stimulus payments make their way to beleaguered Americans.

Be careful what you open.

All of us have seen phishing emails, usually caught by secure gateways and filters, that sometimes make their way through the systems designed to protect our inboxes. A new type of attack has just arrived that tries to bypass those systems. Hackers were caught using Morse code to hide malicious URL’s in email attachments. Security companies are now adding filters to catch this new technique, but it is a good reminder to remain vigilant about what emails you open.

Keep an eye out for suspicious activity.

A hacker gained access to a water treatment facility serving around 15,000 people in the city of Oldsmar, changing the levels of sodium hydroxide pumped into the water supply to a “significant and potentially dangerous” level, Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri said at a press conference last week.

“The attack on the Oldsmar water-treatment facility in Florida occurred last Friday, when an attacker used remote access to the system to change the level of sodium hydroxide, more commonly known as lye, in the water from 100 parts per million to 11,100 parts per million. The change was immediately detected by a plant operator, who changed the levels back before the attack had any impact on the system.”

This attack reveals previously unmonitored vulnerabilities in infrastructure across the country – leading to the potential for disastrous consequences. Remote connections and employees working from home allowed a window for hackers to reach these systems.

Nobody is off-limits to the bad guys.

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) says that cases of identity theft skyrocketed during the COVID-19 pandemic, with incidents reported doubling compared to 2019. Most of the incidents targeted government relief funds reserved for individuals and small businesses hardest hit by the pandemic. A variety of attacks are becoming more prevalent, including attackers fraudulently filing claims for unemployment, falsely taking claims for small-business relief and committing tax fraud against primarily older Americans. The loss for citizens 80 years or older was $1,300 on average.

The World Economic Forum recently released its yearly Global Risks Report – and while global warming and the COVID-19 pandemic were listed, IT Security was at the forefront of everyone’s minds:

The Report mentions:

  • Cyberattacks as a risk since 2012, and certainly the risk today is far more widespread than it has been in the past.
  • Cybersecurity failure is listed as a “top risk by likelihood” over the next decade.
  • IT infrastructure breakdown is “among the highest impact risks of the next decade.”

All of these new occurrences of malicious hackers and warnings from global agencies may have you worried as to the state of your own cyber security.

Intrinium is here to help.

Please reach out to us here with any concerns about your network or security. Our team operates 365 days a year to ensure your cybersecurity is solved!

To keep you up to date on some of the latest cybersecurity news, we’ve linked some of our recent blogs for you below. You can also follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter.

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