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Cybersecurity Firms Become New Target for Cyber Attacks

21 Aug., 2017

Cyber security analysts have become the latest target for attack after security firm is hit by data breach.

First it was the banks. Then the hospitals before critical infrastructures like power grids were being attacked. Now it seems cyber attackers have a new target in their scopes: cyber security firms. U.S. cybersecurity firm FireEye recently confirmed that one of its Mandiant security analysts had become a victim after their social media accounts had become compromised.

The hacker group behind the attack, 31337 Hackers, stated it was carrying out a campaign to target security analysts who help track down cyber-criminals. The results of the attack were posted on PasteBin and showed screenshots of the infiltrated data which included the individuals accounts on OneDrive, Hotmail and LinkedIn.

An anonymous message was also posted online: "Let's go after everything they've got, let's go after their countries, let's trash their reputation in the field.” It called on other hackers to join its #LeakTheAnalyst operation.

According to Mandiant’s early analysis, reports state that the attacker did not hack into the individual’s actual work email or gained access to any corporate systems. Thank goodness for that. Imagine the headlines if a hacker had managed to infiltrate a cyber security company? That would have been a massive hit to the trust in confidence for cybersecurity.

To fully reduce the risk of being exploited, organisations need to implement multiple levels of IT security in all modern IT systems. This Mandiant attack should also be used as an example to promote encryption. If the attackers were successful in gaining access onto the network, and the data was properly encrypted, the hackers would be unable to do anything with it. With sophisticated security in place, there is not much a hacker can do.

Yet its rather frightening to see that even the most advanced cybersecurity experts are not immune to attacks. The underlying message here should be that all sensitive information must be securely protected and given the highest priority.

 

Photo: “Drunk Photographer” by The Hacker. License: CC BY-SA 2.0

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