Cybersecurity Nightmares: Weekly Cybersecurity Brief

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A child’s definition of a nightmare is a frightening or unpleasant dream. Although this definition is valid, nightmares tend to come to life with age. When it comes to the cybersecurity industry, a cyber disaster can feel like a nightmare. A vulnerable party goes into a state of helplessness, fear, and distress when under attack, like an individual experiencing a nightmare. Articles by Tom Burt from Microsoft, Andy Greenberg from Wired and Mohit Kumar from The Hacker News reveal cyber nightmares that have come to life in this week’s news.

Earlier this week Microsoft released a report revealing that they have detected cyberattacks targeting people and organizations involved in the presidential election. These attacks have been targeted at both Biden and Trump’s presidential campaigns and are originating from groups operating in Russia, China, and Iran. Luckily, Microsoft has successfully stopped the attacks through built-it security tools. However, if this report reveals one thing, it is that the 2020 presidential election is under attack and although the hackers were stopped this time, that might not always be the case. A successful hacker meddling with the 2020 election would lead to a national cyber nightmare. 

The election is not the only vulnerability is this week’s news. A group of researchers at the Münster University of Applied Sciences in Germany found that hackers can abuse the tracking features on children’s’ smart watches to target a child’s location. On top of that, the researchers found even more vulnerabilities that could allow hackers to send voice and text messages disguised as parents, eavesdrop on a child’s surroundings and intercept communication between parents and kids. Although the researchers have revealed their findings to the smartwatch companies at fault, several bugs have yet to be fixed. To parents around the globe, this a full-blown cyber nightmare. 

Devices are a common issue when it comes to cybersecurity. Bluetooth SIG, an organization that oversees the development of Bluetooth standards, issued a statement revealing a vulnerability that allows hackers to unauthorizedly connect to a nearby device. This is a vulnerability that could potentially affect hundreds of millions of devices worldwide. To make matters worse, after a device is spoofed to another device, the hacker could potentially gain access to more private information. Mobile devices are home to private information for people across the globe, access to this data would lead to cyber nightmare for millions.

This week’s news shows that cyber nightmares are happening all around us. Whether its smartwatches, mobile devices or even the presidential election, security is a constant concern. Moving forward, organizations can prevent these disasters by taking advantage of all the security resources in today’s market. It could help you sleep better at night.

Key Takeaways

“New cyberattacks targeting U.S. elections” – Tom Burt, Microsoft

  • Microsoft has detected cyberattacks targeting people and organizations involved in the presidential election
  • Threats are coming from groups operating in Russia, China, and Iran
  • Both Biden and Trump’s presidential campaigns have been targeted, as well as campaign staffers and consultants
  • Microsoft has reported that the attacks detected have been stopped by the company’s built-in security tools

“Kids’ Smartwatches Are a Security Nightmare Despite Years of Warnings” – Andy Greenberg, Wired

  • A group of researchers at the Münster University of Applied Sciences in Germany found that hackers can abuse the tracking features on children’s’ smart watches to target a child’s location
  • The researchers found more vulnerabilities that could allow hackers to send voice and text messages disguised as parents, eavesdrop on a child’s surroundings and intercept communication between parents and kids.
  • The researchers have shared their findings with the smartwatch companies at fault, but say that several bugs have yet to be fixed

“New Unpatched Bluetooth Flaw lets Hackers Easily Target Nearby Devices” – Mohit Kumar, The Hacker News

  • Bluetooth SIG, an organization that oversees the development of Bluetooth standards, issued a statement revealing a vulnerability that allows hackers to unauthorizedly connect to a nearby device
  • After a device is spoofed to another device, the hacker could potentially gain access to more private information
  • This vulnerability could potentially affect hundreds of millions of devices worldwide

Sources

https://blogs.microsoft.com/on-the-issues/2020/09/10/cyberattacks-us-elections-trump-biden/

https://www.wired.com/story/kid-smartwatch-security-vulnerabilities/

https://thehackernews.com/2020/09/new-bluetooth-vulnerability.html 

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