Connect with us

Malware

City of Augusta hit by BlackByte ransomware – Cybersecurity breach impacts government systems

The city of Augusta in Maine has reportedly fallen victim to a cyberattack by the BlackByte ransomware gang. The group claims to have stolen sensitive data and encrypted files, demanding a ransom payment in return for a decryption key. The city has not confirmed whether any data was stolen, but has acknowledged the attack and is working with law enforcement to investigate.

Published

on

A group of people sitting at a table looking at a screen with a city on it.

City of Augusta Suffers Cyberattack

The IT system of the City of Augusta, located in Georgia, U.S., recently experienced an outage due to unauthorized access to its network. Although the administration has not disclosed the nature of the cyberattack, the BlackByte ransomware gang has claimed responsibility for the attack. Augusta is the second-largest city in Georgia after Atlanta, and its metropolitan area has a population of over 611,000.

The city reported that it started experiencing technical difficulties on Sunday, May 21, which disrupted some of its computer systems. This incident is unrelated to the IT system outage that occurred the previous week. An investigation is underway to determine the full impact of the cyberattack and to restore full functionality to the systems as soon as possible.

It remains unclear whether the threat actors managed to access or steal any sensitive data. However, Augusta’s Information Technology Department is working diligently to investigate the incident, confirm its impact on the systems, and restore full functionality to the systems as soon as possible. The city also confirmed that recent media reports about Augusta being held hostage for a $50 million ransom are false.

BlackByte Extortion

BlackByte, the ransomware gang responsible for the cyberattack on the City of Augusta, has posted the city on its extortion site. The threat actors have even created a pop-up on the site to highlight their latest victim to all site visitors, warning the city’s administration that “the clock is ticking” and asking them to make contact. BlackByte claims to hold troves of sensitive data stolen from Augusta’s computers and has leaked a sample of 10GB of data as proof of their breach.

The leaked documents contain payroll information, contact details, personally identifiable information (PII), physical addresses, contracts, city budget allocation data, and other types of details. However, it is important to note that the origin and authenticity of the leaked data have not been verified.

The ransom demanded for deleting the stolen information is $400,000. The BlackByte ransomware gang also offers to resell the data to interested third parties for $300,000.

How Did Hackers Successfully Breach the University of Manchester’s Data?

The recent university of manchester data breach has raised concerns about cybersecurity. Hackers were able to successfully infiltrate the university’s data system, causing a significant breach. Investigations are underway to determine the exact methods employed by the hackers and the extent of the damage caused. Safeguarding sensitive information and strengthening cybersecurity measures remains paramount to prevent future breaches.

Other Ransomware Attacks on Major Cities in North America

Several ransomware attacks have occurred across major cities in North America this year, disrupting the delivery of essential services to citizens. In February, the City of Oakland in California suffered a ransomware attack from the Play gang, forcing it to declare an emergency. By March, another ransomware group, LockBit, claimed a second attack on the City of Oakland.

In late March, the City of Toronto, Canada was breached by the Clop ransomware gang that exploited a GoAnywhere zero-day vulnerability for initial access to the systems. More recently, in May, the City of Dallas, Texas was attacked by the Royal ransomware group, forcing the metropolis to shut down many of its IT systems to contain the infection.

Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Malware

Shopify Debunks Hacking Claims, Exposes Stolen Data Connection to Third-Party App

Shopify has denied being hacked after suspicious emails were sent to customers, blaming a third-party app for the data breach. The firm’s investigation revealed that the app had accessed and stolen data from Shopify’s API, but the incident was not a security breach of the platform itself.

Published

on

Shopify, the popular e-commerce platform, has recently denied experiencing a data breach after a threat actor started selling customer data that they claimed to have stolen from Shopify’s network. But, don’t worry, it’s not as bad as it seems.

What Shopify had to say

According to Shopify, the company’s systems have not suffered a security incident. They told us, “The data loss reported was caused by a third-party app. The app developer intends to notify affected customers.

This statement comes after a threat actor, known as ‘888’, began selling data they claimed was stolen from Shopify back in 2024.

Selling alleged Shopify data on a hacking forum
Selling alleged Shopify data on a hacking forum
Source: IT Services

What’s in the data?

The threat actor shared data samples that include a person’s Shopify ID, first name, last name, email, mobile number, order count, total spent, email subscription, email subscription date, SMS subscription, and SMS subscription date. While this information is significant, it’s important to remember that Shopify itself wasn’t directly breached.

Unfortunately, Shopify did not provide any further information about the app from which this customer’s data was stolen.

A history of data leaks

The threat actor, 888, has been linked to previous data sales or leaks allegedly involving companies like Credit Suisse, Shell, Heineken, Accenture India, and Unicef.

It’s also worth noting that in 2020, Shopify disclosed that two “rogue members” of its support team accessed customer transactional records of about 200 merchants. While this is concerning, it’s essential to recognize the proactive steps the company has taken to address security issues.


Stay informed and protect your data

While this particular incident doesn’t seem to be a direct breach of Shopify’s systems, it’s still a reminder to stay vigilant when it comes to our data. Make sure to stay informed about potential threats and take the necessary steps to protect your personal information.

If you’re interested in learning more about cybersecurity and how to keep your data safe, don’t hesitate to contact us and keep coming back for more valuable information.

Continue Reading

Malware

Hackers Expose Supposed Taylor Swift Tickets, Intensify Ticketmaster Blackmail with Power Word

Hackers have leaked alleged Taylor Swift concert tickets and intensified their extortion efforts against Ticketmaster. The group, known as REvil, is demanding a $10 million ransom for the stolen data and threatening to reveal more.

Published

on

Imagine being a die-hard Taylor Swift fan, eagerly awaiting her next concert, and then finding out that your ticket information has been compromised. Well, that’s precisely what happened to a large number of fans recently when hackers leaked the barcode data of 166,000 Taylor Swift Eras Tour tickets. The hackers have warned that more events will be leaked if a $2 million extortion demand isn’t met.

Back in May, a notorious threat actor named ShinyHunters started selling data on 560 million Ticketmaster customers for $500,000. Ticketmaster later confirmed the data breach, stating it was from their account on Snowflake, a cloud-based data warehousing company they use to store databases, process data, and perform analytics.

By April, threat actors had begun downloading Snowflake databases of at least 165 organizations using credentials stolen by information-stealing malware. They then blackmailed these companies, demanding payment to prevent the data from being leaked or sold to other threat actors. Companies known to have had data stolen from their Snowflake accounts include Neiman Marcus, Los Angeles Unified School District, Advance Auto Parts, Pure Storage, and Satander.

When Concert Dreams Turn into Nightmares

Today, a threat actor known as Sp1d3rHunters has leaked what they claim is the ticket data for 166,000 Taylor Swift Eras Tour barcodes used to gain entry on various concert dates.

Sp1d3rHunters, previously named Sp1d3r, is the threat actor behind the sale of data stolen from Snowflake accounts, publicly extorting the various companies for payments. The extortion demand, shared by threat intel service HackManac, reads, “Pay us $2million USD or we leak all 680M of your users’ information and 30 million more event barcodes, including more Taylor Swift events, P!nk, Sting, Sporting events F1 Formula Racing, MLB, NFL, and thousands more events.”

The post claims the barcode data is for upcoming Taylor Swift concerts in Miami, New Orleans, and Indianapolis. It includes a small sample of the alleged barcode data, containing the value used to create a scannable barcode, seat information, the face value of tickets, and other information. The threat actor even shared details on how to turn this data into a scannable barcode.

While the barcode data wasn’t part of the initial leak of stolen Ticketmaster data samples released by the threat actors in May, some of the newly leaked data can be found in the older leaks, including the hashed credit card and sales order information for the tickets.

The group behind these attacks is ShinyHunters, which has been responsible for many data breaches over the years. These include leaking the data for 386 million user records from 18 companies in 2020, an AT&T breach impacting 70 million customers, and most recently, the leaking of 33 million phone numbers used with the Authy multi-factor authentication app.

Update: Ticketmaster has informed us that unique barcodes are updated every few seconds, so the stolen tickets cannot be used. “Ticketmaster’s SafeTix technology protects tickets by automatically refreshing a new and unique barcode every few seconds so it cannot be stolen or copied,” Ticketmaster told us. “This is just one of many fraud protections we implement to keep tickets safe and secure.” They also confirmed that they did not engage in any ransom negotiations with the threat actors, disputing ShinyHunter’s claims that they were offered $1 million to delete the data.

Protect Yourself and Stay Informed

This incident is just one example of how vulnerable our personal data can be in the digital age. To stay informed about cybersecurity threats and how to protect yourself, make sure to keep coming back to our IT Services page. Our team of experts is dedicated to helping you stay one step ahead of cybercriminals. Don’t let hackers ruin your concert experience or compromise your personal information. Stay informed and stay safe.

Continue Reading

Malware

Urgent: HealthEquity Data Breach Reveals Confidential Health Information

HealthEquity, a US health savings account provider, suffered a data breach exposing personal data of 23,000 users. The breach occurred when an employee fell for a phishing scam, allowing unauthorized access to an account containing protected health information. HealthEquity has since taken steps to improve security and offered assistance to affected customers.

Published

on

A Partner’s Compromised Account Leads to a Data Breach at HealthEquity

HealthEquity, a healthcare fintech firm, recently experienced a data breach when a partner’s account was compromised. The unauthorized access allowed hackers to steal protected health information from the company’s systems. We all know that data breaches can be a nightmare, especially when they involve sensitive information like our health records. So, let’s take a closer look at what happened and how HealthEquity is addressing the issue.

Anomalous Behavior Detected, Investigation Launched

HealthEquity first became aware of the situation when they noticed unusual behavior from a partner’s personal device. This prompted the company to launch an investigation into the incident. The investigation revealed that hackers had compromised the partner’s account and used it to gain unauthorized access to HealthEquity’s systems. The hackers then proceeded to extract sensitive health data.

As stated in their SEC filing, “The accessed information included some personally identifiable information, which in some cases is considered protected health information, pertaining to certain of our members.” The investigation also found that some of this information was later transferred off the partner’s systems.

What Does HealthEquity Do?

HealthEquity specializes in providing health savings account (HSA) services and other consumer-directed benefits solutions, such as flexible spending accounts (FSAs), health reimbursement arrangements (HRAs), and 401(k) retirement plans. They are one of the largest HSA custodians in the United States, managing millions of HSA, FSA, HRA, and other benefit accounts while working with numerous employers and health plans.

Impact and Response

The exact number of people affected by this security incident has not been disclosed. However, HealthEquity has begun notifying impacted individuals. To help mitigate the risk for those exposed, the company has also promised to offer complimentary credit monitoring and identity restoration services.

Fortunately, HealthEquity’s internal investigation has not found any evidence of malware being dropped on its systems, and there have been no technical interruptions. All business operations and services remain fully available. The company is currently evaluating the incident’s impact and the cost of its response efforts but has noted that it does not believe the incident will have a material effect on its business or financial results.

Stay Informed and Protected

Data breaches like this one at HealthEquity remind us of the importance of staying informed and taking proactive steps to protect our personal information. Here at IT Services, we are dedicated to helping you stay up to date on cybersecurity news and tips. Don’t hesitate to contact us with any questions or concerns you may have, and be sure to keep coming back to learn more about how to safeguard your digital life.

Continue Reading

Trending

Copyright © 2023 IT Services Network.