Attacks/Breaches

2/9/2018
12:15 PM

Sacramento Bee Databases Hit with Ransomware Attack

The Bee did not pay ransom and deleted its databases to prevent future attacks, according to its publisher.



The Sacramento Bee reported that two of its databases, both on a third-party server, were hit with a ransomware attack in January 2017. A Bee employee discovered the attack last week following a tip from a reporter with a different organization, the publication reports.

One affected database contained California voter registration data from the California Secretary of State and was obtained for reporting purposes. Another, a subscriber database, contained contact data for 53,000 current and former Bee subscribers who activated digital accounts before 2017. The Bee is informing those whose names, addresses, email addresses, and phone numbers were compromised.

Publisher Gary Wortel reports neither database contained credit card numbers, bank account data, or Social Security numbers. The voter registration data had been previously exposed online, and the same database had been shared with organizations that had been subject to attack.

An anonymous attacker demanded a Bitcoin ransom in exchange for the data. The Bee chose not to pay and has deleted both databases to prevent further attacks.

Read more details here.

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REISEN1955
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REISEN1955,
User Rank: Ninja
2/12/2018 | 3:14:51 PM
Profound solution?
The database data is deleted to prevent future theft.  Wow!!!!   What an idea.  Lock the barn door after the theft is done.  Brilliant.  Of course, the data is already out there so who ares about deletion.  Hey, shore up the walls would be a good idea too.  
alphaa10
50%
50%
alphaa10,
User Rank: Strategist
2/17/2018 | 12:23:13 AM
Re: Profound solution?
The measure announced was not to recover the lost data, but to frustrate inevitable future attempts to make the same threat, perhaps with more damage. Once a ransom demand is met, there is nothing to dissuade the same or similar groups from another attack.

Did the newspaper promise a return to paper records? Not at all, but simply a more layered and distributed system, with multiple checkpoints.

Under the circumstances, the Bee declaration helps the newspaper isolate itself from further extortion attempts.

 
BrianN060
50%
50%
BrianN060,
User Rank: Ninja
2/12/2018 | 6:07:58 PM
Looking for correlations
@DR staff: Elements of this story are repeated in any number of cybersecurity articles, surveys, reports, etc..  What I haven't seen is analysis on how specific data storage choices correlate with attack frequency, type, detection, and other characteristics and metrics. 

In this story "...its databases, both on a third-party server...", raises the above questions as regards to use of third party servers; but also leads to questions about attacks and the specifics of type, location, infrastructure, etc.., of such servers. 

Perhaps what I'm looking for is a multidimensional map showing just what particular dangers are known to inhabit various (metaphorical as well as actual), regions.  In other words, are there safer places and containers to bury your treasure? 

I realize this is far from a simple question.  For starters, a single vendor might offer several types of relational and non-relational patterns and management options; and might have options for restricting use to certain geo-located datacenters - and a single organization might use different options, from different vendors, as well as combine public-cloud with in-house storage options. 

Is anyone work on this type of multi-factor threat assessment for data storage choices? 
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