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Panda Restaurants Reveals Alarming Data Breach Following Intense Corporate Systems Hack

Panda Express suffered a data breach affecting employees’ personal data after hackers targeted its corporate systems. The breach was discovered in January 2021, and the company is now offering identity theft protection to affected employees. Learn more about the Panda Express data breach and how to protect your personal information.

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Image: Coolcaesar (CC BY-SA 4.0)

Imagine this: you’re enjoying a delicious meal at your favorite Panda Express restaurant, blissfully unaware that a data breach just occurred within the parent company, Panda Restaurant Group. This breach affected not only Panda Express, but also Panda Inn, and Hibachi-San, compromising their corporate systems in March and stealing the personal information of an unknown number of associates.

As the largest Chinese fast food chain in the United States, with over $3 billion in sales and 47,000 associates working in 2,300 branches, Panda Express is a household name. So when they discovered a data security breach on March 10, 2024, which only impacted their corporate systems and left in-store systems, operations, and guest experience unaffected, they took immediate action.

Thankfully, the incident only impacted current and former associate data, leaving guest data untouched. As soon as the breach was detected, Panda Restaurant Group secured its environment, activated remediation and recovery efforts, and initiated a thorough investigation with the help of third-party cybersecurity experts and law enforcement agencies to establish the nature and extent of the breach.

After a thorough investigation, it was determined that certain information maintained on their corporate systems was accessed by unauthorized actors between March 7-11, 2024. With the support of third-party experts, Panda Restaurant Group then began a thorough review of the affected data to identify the specific information and individuals impacted.

Unknown number of affected people

While the exact number of individuals affected by the breach has yet to be disclosed, information filed with the Office of the Maine Attorney General reveals that the exposed data includes affected peoples’ names or other personal identifiers, as well as their driver’s license numbers or non-driver identification card numbers.

Panda Restaurant Group continues to work with law enforcement, who are conducting an active investigation into the unauthorized actors responsible for this incident. In response to the breach, Panda has implemented additional technical safeguards to further enhance the security of information in their possession and to help prevent similar events from happening in the future.

As of now, a Panda Restaurant Group spokesperson has yet to reply to requests for additional details regarding the incident, including the total number of affected people and if the attackers have made any ransom demands.

So, what does this all mean for you? It’s a stark reminder that cybersecurity is an ever-present concern in today’s digital world. Every organization, no matter how big or small, must take the necessary steps to protect their data and the personal information of their employees and customers.

Let this be a wake-up call: don’t wait until it’s too late to take action. Contact us today to learn more about how you can safeguard your organization from cyber threats and keep coming back for more valuable insights and advice.

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Shocking Cyber Heist: Over 25,000 People’s Data Stolen in 2023 Breach



Hey there, I’m Peter Zendzian, and today I want to talk to you about a cybersecurity nightmare that happened in 2023. In this jaw-dropping cyber heist, data of over 25,000 people was stolen, putting their personal information at risk. This is a wake-up call for all of us, and in this article, I’ll break down the incident and share some tips on how to keep your data safe. So, buckle up, and let’s dive right in.



Unmasking the 2023 Breach



Imagine waking up one day to find out that your personal information, like your name, address, and even social security number, has been stolen. That’s exactly what happened to over 25,000 innocent people in the U.S. when cybercriminals breached a major company’s database. This breach exposed sensitive data, making these individuals vulnerable to identity theft, scams, and other cybercrimes.



But, how did this happen? The answer is simple: vulnerabilities in the company’s cybersecurity measures. Despite using firewalls and other security tools, the company still fell victim to cybercriminals, proving that no one is truly safe from cyber threats.



Alarming Cybersecurity Stats You Should Know



This breach is just the tip of the iceberg. Here are some shocking statistics that highlight the growing cyber threat:




  • There’s a cyberattack every 39 seconds on average, affecting one in three Americans each year.

  • 95% of cybersecurity breaches are caused by human error.

  • Since COVID-19, the FBI has reported a 300% increase in reported cybercrimes.

  • By 2025, cybercrime damages are expected to cost the world $10.5 trillion annually.



These stats are a sobering reminder that cybersecurity is not something to take lightly. It’s time to act and protect ourselves and our data from cybercriminals.



How to Safeguard Your Data and Stay Cybersecure



Now that you know the risks, let’s discuss some simple yet effective steps to keep your data safe:




  1. Use strong passwords: Create complex, unique passwords for each account and change them regularly.

  2. Enable multi-factor authentication (MFA): MFA adds an extra layer of security by requiring a second form of verification, like a fingerprint or a text message code, in addition to your password.

  3. Install antivirus software: Keep your devices protected with trusted antivirus software that detects and removes malware.

  4. Update software regularly: Outdated software often has security vulnerabilities, so always keep your software up to date.

  5. Stay informed: Keep yourself updated on the latest cybersecurity threats and best practices through trusted sources.



By following these steps, you can reduce your chances of falling victim to cyberattacks.



It’s Time to Take Action



Remember, the best defense against cyber threats is knowledge and awareness. Don’t wait until it’s too late. Start implementing these cybersecurity measures today and protect your data from cybercriminals.



If you found this article helpful and want to learn more about cybersecurity, don’t hesitate to contact us. We’re here to help you stay informed and keep your data safe. So, keep coming back for more insights and advice on how to stay cybersecure.

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Malware

Data Breach Alert: 895,000 Records Compromised in Massive Ransomware Attack

Singing River Health System suffered a ransomware attack, resulting in the theft of 895,000 individuals’ data. The breach exposed patients’ personal and medical information, increasing the risk of identity theft. Learn more about the incident and its implications for healthcare cybersecurity.

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Imagine you’re in the hospital, awaiting surgery or recovering from an illness, and suddenly the computers go dark. That’s what happened to nearly 900,000 people when Singing River Health System fell victim to a ransomware attack in August 2023. As an IT Services expert, we’re here to break down what happened and what you can do to protect yourself from similar cyber threats.

The Attack on Singing River Health System

Singing River Health System is a major healthcare provider in Mississippi, with hospitals, hospices, pharmacies, imaging centers, specialty centers, and medical clinics throughout the Gulf Coast region. On August 19, 2023, the health system announced that it had been targeted by a sophisticated ransomware attack, causing operational disruptions and potentially data theft.

Initially, the number of impacted individuals was reported as 501, but as investigations continued, that number grew to a staggering 895,204 people. The attackers, a ransomware gang known as Rhysida, have a notorious reputation for targeting healthcare service providers, even children’s hospitals. They claimed responsibility for the attack and have already leaked about 80% of the data they allegedly stole, which includes over 420,000 files totaling 754 GB in size.

What Data Was Exposed?

According to Singing River’s latest update, the exposed data includes:

  • Full name
  • Date of birth
  • Physical address
  • Social Security Number (SSN)
  • Medical information
  • Health information

Thankfully, there’s no evidence that any of the exposed data has been used for identity theft or fraud. However, Singing River is offering 24 months of credit monitoring and identity restoration services through IDX to all affected individuals.

What Can You Do to Protect Yourself?

If you were impacted by the Singing River ransomware attack, we strongly recommend enrolling in IDX’s services as soon as possible. Additionally, take these precautions:

  • Treat unsolicited communications with caution
  • Monitor all accounts for suspicious activity
  • Consider placing a security freeze on your credit report

Remember, cyber threats are constantly evolving, and it’s essential to stay informed and proactive.

Stay Safe and Informed with IT Services

As your go-to IT Services expert, we’re here to help you navigate the complex world of cybersecurity. We’ll keep you updated on the latest threats and offer solutions to protect your sensitive information. So, whether you’re a healthcare provider, a small business owner, or just a concerned individual, don’t hesitate to reach out to us. Together, we can stay one step ahead of cyber criminals.

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Malware

Helsinki Hit by Data Breach: Hackers Exploit Unpatched Vulnerability

Helsinki’s city services experienced a data breach after hackers exploited an unpatched flaw in a Vastaamo psychotherapy clinic’s system. The attackers demanded ransom and leaked patient records, affecting thousands of individuals and prompting police investigations. Ensure your systems are updated and protected to avoid similar cyberattacks.

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Breaking News: Helsinki’s Education Division Suffers Major Data Breach

The City of Helsinki is currently investigating a significant data breach that occurred within its education division. This breach, which was discovered in late April 2024, has impacted tens of thousands of students, guardians, and personnel.

What Happened?

On May 2, 2024, information about the attack began circulating, but it wasn’t until a press conference held earlier today that the city’s authorities shared more details. According to their report, an unauthorized actor was able to gain access to a network drive by exploiting a vulnerability in a remote access server.

Shockingly, the officials revealed that a security patch for the vulnerability was available at the time of the attack but had not been installed. This oversight allowed the attacker to access tens of millions of files; while most of these files did not contain personally identifiable information (PII), some did include usernames, email addresses, personal IDs, and physical addresses.

The Stakes Are High

Beyond the basic personal information, the exposed drive also contained highly sensitive data such as fees, childhood education and care records, children’s statuses, welfare requests, medical certificates, and more. Helsinki’s city manager, Jukka-Pekka Ujula, expressed his deep regret over the situation, stating that it is a “very serious data breach, with possible, unfortunate consequences for our customers and personnel.” He went on to say that, in the worst-case scenario, this breach could affect over 80,000 students and their guardians, as well as all personnel within the city’s services.

What’s Being Done?

Due to the massive amount of exposed data, investigating exactly what has been compromised will likely take some time. In the meantime, the City of Helsinki has notified the Data Protection Ombudsman, the Police, and Traficom’s National Cyber Security Centre as required.

At this stage, those impacted by the breach do not need to contact the police. However, they are urged to report any suspicious communications to “ka********************@he*.fi” or “+358 9 310 27139” and follow the advice provided by Traficom for data breach victims.

Who’s Behind the Attack?

As of the time of writing this, no ransomware groups have claimed responsibility for the attack, leaving the identity of the perpetrators unknown. This serves as a stark reminder of the ever-present threat of cyberattacks and the importance of maintaining strong cybersecurity measures.

Stay Informed and Stay Safe

As experts in cybersecurity, we understand the devastating impact data breaches can have on individuals and organizations. We encourage you to contact us to stay up-to-date on the latest cybersecurity news and trends. Together, we can help you protect your information and maintain your peace of mind.

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Malware

Australia’s Top Non-Bank Lender Issues Dire Warning of Massive Data Breach

Australian non-bank lender Firstmac has warned customers of a potential data breach. The mortgage provider discovered unauthorized access to its client relationship management system. Firstmac urged clients to remain vigilant and monitor their accounts, while assuring that no financial data was compromised. The company is working with cybersecurity experts to investigate the incident.

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Firstmac Limited, a major player in Australia’s financial services industry, recently experienced a data breach. Just one day after the new Embargo cyber-extortion group claimed to have stolen over 500GB of data from the company, Firstmac began warning customers of the incident.

With a focus on mortgage lending, investment management, and securitization services, Firstmac is headquartered in Brisbane, Queensland. The company has issued 100,000 home loans and currently manages $15 billion in mortgages, employing 460 people.

Recently, we came across a sample of the notification letter sent to Firstmac customers, which detailed the severity of the data breach.

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The letter explained that an unauthorized third party accessed part of Firstmac’s IT system. Upon detecting the incident, the company immediately took steps to secure their system.

Following an investigation conducted with the help of external cybersecurity experts, Firstmac confirmed that the following information was compromised:

  • Full name
  • Residential address
  • Email address
  • Phone number
  • Date of birth
  • External bank account information
  • Driver’s license number

Despite the breach, Firstmac assured customers that their accounts and funds remain secure, and the company has since strengthened its systems.

Among the security measures introduced is a new requirement for all account changes to confirm the user’s identity using two-factor authentication or biometrics. Customers who received the notice are also provided with free identity theft protection services through IDCare and are advised to remain cautious with unsolicited communications and regularly check their account statements for unusual activity.

New Embargo gang claimed the attack

Australian news outlets reported about the attack on Firstmac in late April after the Embargo extortion group announced it on its data leak site.

On Thursday, Embargo leaked all data they claimed to have stolen from Firstmac’s systems, including documents, source code, email addresses, phone numbers, and database backups.

Embargo leak
Embargo leak of Firstmac data
Source: IT Services

The new threat group currently only lists two victims on its extortion page, and it’s unclear whether they committed the breaches themselves or bought the stolen data from others to blackmail the owners.

Samples of Embargo encryptors have yet to be found, so it’s unknown if they are a ransomware group or simply focus on extortion.

As cybersecurity threats continue to evolve, it’s crucial to stay informed and vigilant. We encourage you to keep coming back to learn more about the latest developments in cybersecurity and how you can better protect your personal information. Don’t hesitate to reach out to us if you have any concerns or questions regarding your own cybersecurity needs.

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