Last Week In Blockchain and CyberSecurity News - June 4, 2019

Billing Info of 11.9M Quest Diagnostics Clients Exposed 

Quest Diagnostics Incorporated, a Fortune 500 diagnostic services provider, stated that a data breach reported by one of its billing providers has impacted around 12 million of their clients. The billing collection provider, American Medical Collection Agency (AMCA), manages over “$1BN in annual receivables for a diverse client base,” and experienced a breach in their web payment page.  

According to a statement from Quest Diagnostics, "Between August 1, 2018, and March 30, 2019, an unauthorized user had access to AMCA’s system that contained information AMCA had received from various entities, including Quest Diagnostics, and information that AMCA collected itself." The exposed information includes financial data such as credit card numbers, bank accounts, and social security numbers, as well as various pieces of medical information. Quest Diagnostics is currently working with forensic experts to investigate the situation and has been in direct contact with law enforcement.  

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Hackers Gain Access to Flipboard Database, Users' Account Information 

Flipboard, the popular news aggregator service used by over 150 million people, has disclosed that they suffered a security breach. An unknown hacker was able to “gain unauthorized access to its systems for nearly 10 months—between June 2, 2018, and March 23, 2019, and then again on April 21-22, 2019.”  

The hacker could download various databases containing Flipboard users’ “real name, usernames, cryptographically (salted hash) protected passwords, email addresses, [and] digital tokens for users who linked their Flipboard account to a third-party social media service.” Flipboard has reset passwords for all users and decided to replace or delete all digital tokens. The company did not disclose the total number of affected users but has notified law enforcement about the incident.  

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Stablecoin Tether is Launching on EOS Blockchain 

Tether, the world's largest stablecoin in market value, announced it will be launching on the EOS blockchain protocol. Bitfinex CTO Paolo Ardoino stated that the principle motive behind the team’s decision to push “for the release of Tether on EOS is to supplement eosfinex.”  

The eosfinex platform is a decentralized crypto asset exchange built on top of the EOS protocol. Because no centralized entity oversees the platform, it’s a challenge for it to process fiat transactions. The implementation of Tether on EOS should help with this issue by enabling EOS/USDT and crypto-to-stablecoin trading pairs.  

Currently, Tether operates on Omni, Ethereum, and TRON.  

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Salesforce Unveils First Blockchain Product for Business 

Last week, Salesforce revealed a blockchain solution built on the Hyperledger Sawtooth platform. The product, Salesforce Blockchain, is a “low-code blockchain platform that extends the power of CRM (client relations management).” It aims to help users “build and maintain blockchain networks, apps and smart contracts,” and allows them to share and create blockchain objects with “clicks, not code.” The solution will also help integrate blockchain data into various business operations, such as sales forecasts and predictions.  

Salesforce named three clients that are currently testing the service – IQVIA, a research data company; S&P Global, the ratings agency; and Arizona State University. 

Blockchain is a technology that promises to fundamentally change how an organization can share and verify the authenticity of critical information, so it’s exciting to observe the increased use of the tech within many businesses.  

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Maze Ransomware Determines Ransom Amount From Computer Type  

A variant of the Maze Ransomware (also going by the name ChaCha Ransomware) has developed an interesting feature that produces a ransom amount that will “be different depending on whether the victim is a home computer, server, or workstation.” Jérôme Segura, a Malwarebytes security researcher, discovered that the Fallout exploit kit was distributing the ransomware through a malicious site pretending to be a cryptocurrency exchange.  

Reportedly, the Maze Ransomware utilizes RSA and ChaCha20 encryption. When executed, “the ransomware will scan for files to encrypt and append different extensions to the files.” Once the ransomware encrypts the victim’s files, it creates a ransom note named “DECRYPT-FILES.html” containing a “Base64 string which [provides] an encrypted private decryption key and information about your computer, such as the computer name, logged in user, version of Windows, and other information used by the ransomware.”  

As stated previously, an intriguing feature of this ransomware is the ability to detect what type of computer/device it is infecting.  

It uses the following strings to classify the various ransom amounts: 

  • standalone server 

  • server in a corporate network 

  • workstation in a corporate network 

  • home computer 

  • primary domain controller 

  • backup server 

Practicing proper computing habits and using security software are extremely important to protect yourself against ransomware like Maze.  

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