Ukraine power grid outage may be cyber related

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Ukraine is investigating a suspected cyber attack on Kiev’s power grid. A power distribution station unexpectedly switched off, leaving the northern part of the capital without electricity. It comes after a Ukrainian security chief said last week that Ukraine needed to beef up its cyber defenses, citing a spate of attacks on government websites that he said originated in Russia. The outage amounted to 200 megawatts of capacity, equivalent to about a fifth of the capital’s energy consumption at night. The company’s IT specialists found transmission data that had not been included in standard protocols, suggesting external interference. Over the past month, Ukraine’s finance and defense ministries and the state treasury have said their websites had been temporarily downed by attacks aimed at disrupting their operations. Source: Reuters

Not even the Avengers can defend against everything

sh_marvel-comics_280Self-described white hat security group OurMine is claiming responsibility for taking over the verified Twitter accounts of Marvel, The Avengers, Ant-Man, Captain America, Tony Stark and an unverified account for the Incredible Hulk. In each case, they posted at least one message describing the hack as a security test, complete with an email address for Marvel to contact “to help you with your security.” Source: CNet

New York financial regulations to be delayed

New York’s financial regulator will delay an anticipated Jan. 1 deadline for banks and insurers doing business in the state to comply with controversial cybersecurity rules. The New York State Department of Financial Services will publish a revamped version of its cybersecurity rules in the New York State Register on Dec. 28. The new effective date, following a public review period, will be March 1. Source: Reuters

European nations fear Russian cyber interference in elections

sh_russia-hack_280Europe is bracing for Russian interference via cyber attacks before a series of elections. France, Germany and the Netherlands go to the polls in 2017, and analysts say Russia already is attempting to influence the outcomes, a charge Moscow denies. As the chief European architect of sanctions against Russia, analysts say German Chancellor Angela Merkel is the European leader Moscow would most like to see voted out. Source: Voice of America News

Health plan participants told of data breach

Almost 400,000 current and former members of the Community Health Plan of Washington have had personal information, including Social Security numbers, exposed in a data breach. The nonprofit, which provides health insurance through Medicaid in Washington, is sending letters to 381,534 individuals notifying them of the invasion and steps they can take to protect themselves with help from the Community Health Plan of Washington. Source: Seattle Times

A learning experience of a different kind

sh_lynda-com_280Online learning platform Lynda.com has begun notifying its 9.5 million users that it recently experienced unauthorized third-party access to a database that contains contact information of account holders, their learning data, and courses viewed. The LinkedIn subsidiary said there was no evidence the breach included the leak of passwords in the compromised data, but LinkedIn has reset the passwords for approximately 55,000 Lynda.com users as a precautionary measure. Source: ZD Net

Insurer widens cyber coverage offerings

An expanded suite of cyber loss mitigation services now is available to help Chubb’s U.S. and Canadian policyholders reduce the impact and likelihood of a cyber incident. The expanded suite of services includes the addition of password defense and online security awareness training for cyber policyholders. Source: PR Newswire

University tells some Huskers their data may be at risk

sh_nebraska-huskers_280University of Nebraska-Lincoln officials emailed students to warn them of a security breach. The names, ID numbers and grades of 30,000 current and former students may have been comprised in the past two years. UNL discovered unauthorized access of a server that ran a math placement exam. Source: KETV, Omaha

It’s a virtual matter of money

Administrators of the Ethereum Project say a data breach affected more than 16,500 users of the platform’s community forums. Ethereum is the name of the platform on which users can trade the Ether cryptocurrency, while the Ethereum Project is the governing body that manages the platform. Source: Bleeping Computer

Health breaches up from one month to the next

November saw a 60 percent increase of breach incidents from October, at an average of two incidents per day. With 57 reported incidents, November saw the most breaches so far this year, according to the Protenus Breach Barometer. Forty-seven incidents involved a total of 448,639 breached records, the report found. The largest single incident involved 170,000 patient records, which resulted from a third-party’s insider error. Source: Healthcare IT News

Third-party breach hits Groupon customers

sh_groupon_280Scores of Groupon customers in London claim hundreds of pounds have been taken from their bank accounts by cyber criminals. Many Groupon buyers claim they received unexpected confirmation emails for purchases they hadn’t made while other online shoppers reported losing out on hundreds of pounds. Groupon said its own site has not been hacked but confirmed hackers had managed to hack into users’ accounts after getting login and password details from a third-party website. Source: The Standard

Not so fast, EU court tells Britain

“General and indiscriminate retention” of emails and electronic communications by governments is illegal, the EU’s highest court has ruled, in a judgment that could trigger challenges against the UK’s new Investigatory Powers Act. Only targeted interception of traffic and location data in order to combat serious crime—including terrorism—is justified, according to a long-awaited decision by the European court of justice in Luxembourg. Source: The Guardian