Hackers Are Everywhere – from Africa to Teddy Bear

November 1, 2018

Take a glance at the most discussed cybersecurity topics of the week.

Children’s toys and baby monitors connected to the internet can be taken over by attackers. Sounds incredible but hackers may get into the human brain – a newly developed class of brain implants could also become hacking targets.

African cybersecurity challenge – invest and learn experience

News 24 on October 27, 2018

“Cyber threats have no more borders” – the main conclusion of the third Africa Cyber Security Conference. Another one is that Africa must invest in cybersecurity as the number of threats is expected to grow.

Actually, African banks and telecom firms are primary targets for cybercriminals. For Visa’s regional bureau in Abidjan, covering 18 countries in West and Central Africa, “each attack costs an average of 1.2 million dollars,” mainly in lost income, said risk manager Lawal Aribidesi. Moreover, there is an increase in the number of ransomware attacks.

However, the best way to avoid mistakes is to analyze the experience of others – Africa has a great opportunity to consider errors made by Europe and America and build a better version of cybersecurity policy.

Next aim is the brain – hackers can target brain implants

The Register on October 29, 2018

Sounds incredible but hackers may get into the human brain – a newly developed class of brain implants could also become hacking targets.

Security vulnerabilities were discovered in the brain stimulation devices used to treat disorders like Parkinson’s and OCD. Kaspersky Lab and the University of Oxford Functional Neurosurgery Group in the joint report claim that flaws include vulnerabilities in the web apps used to administer the devices and bugs in the tablet and smartphone applications doctors use to set up and record data from the implants. It is not without using default passwords and unencrypted data transmissions.

Although treats are no different from those affecting other medical implants, researches emphasized that the difference of brain implants is in their potential for development. Thus, healthcare professionals, cybersecurity industry and manufacturers need to join forces and mitigate all potential vulnerabilities.

Hackers also play with toys

The Independent on October 29, 2018

If your teddy bear is not connected to the internet, you may keep calm – hackers do not turn it to the evil side. However, Children’s toys and baby monitors connected to the internet can be taken over by attackers, according to the British National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC). Discovered vulnerabilities could let malefactors obtain audio from a baby monitor or change information about the position and temperature of an infant on activity tracker. The NCSC also illustrated how an interactive doll could be compromised and used to unlock a wifi-connected front door.

In fact, Internet-of-Things devices pose a threat to an individuals’ privacy and their network security. However, the implementation of regulatory standards among manufacturers is a difficult process, especially when it comes to Chinese manufacturing giants complying with British rules.

Earn Cybersecurity Badge – Girl Scouts faced data breach threat

Threatpost on October 29, 2018

The Orange County, Calif. branch of the Girl Scouts of America has been hacked, potentially exposing personal information for thousands of members.

The attackers got access to an email account used by the Girl Scouts of Orange County (GSOC), from which they then used to send out emails of their own. The information floating around in emails in the account included members’ personal data that could be used for malicious purposes.

The GSOC account was hijacked for as little as one day, from Sept. 30 to Oct. 1. “Out of an abundance of caution, we are notifying everyone whose information was in this email account, said Christina Salcido, vice president of mission operations for GSOC. Anyway, rest assured though: now the cookies are safe, even those of the computing type.

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