Extortion assaults are ‘worst-case situation:’ knowledgeable

Cyber assaults like the only inflicted upon LifeLabs are a few of the maximum relating to, says a Vancouver-based cybersecurity knowledgeable.

“Assaults like those are the worst-case situation for any safety govt,” stated Richard Henderson, head of world danger intelligence with Lastline — a Silicon Valley-based complex cybersecurity startup.

Henderson defined that the LifeLabs assault differed from a extra common ransomware assault, the place hackers encrypt a sufferer’s pc device and price cash for the decryption key.

“This assault used to be a success in penetrating LifeLabs and stealing a duplicate of all this highly-sensitive information,” he stated.

“A ransomware assault simply prevents a company from gaining access to their very own information.”

Those assaults are in large part performed through cybercrime teams founded in both Russia or China — a long way from the achieve of western legislation enforcement.

Whilst LifeLabs declined to expose the volume they paid in ransom, Henderson stated the safety of the stolen information lies utterly on the whim of the hackers.

“What assurances did they obtain from the attackers that the stolen information used to be if truth be told deleted?” he stated.

“Can the ones assurances be relied on?”

Whilst those assaults are typically performed for monetary acquire, it’s no longer exceptional for such breaches to be state-sponsored intelligence-gathering workouts through overseas governments.

The probabilities for misuse of the stolen data is gigantic, Henderson stated — with identification robbery being the obvious concern.

“However even worse is the stealing of take a look at effects hooked up to person folks,” he stated.

“Inside of this trove of information will indubitably be individuals of pastime — celebrities, politicians, executives.”

Data gleaned from the leak may well be used for the rest from extortion to igniting political intrigue, he stated.

“To invest … why did a well-known flesh presser cross in for an STI screening? Why is the CEO of a big financial institution present process exams for a significant sickness? Data like that has a large number of worth to a malicious attacker taking a look to benefit.”
On Twitter: @bryanpassifiume


About the author

Mike Butcher

Mike Butcher

Mike is a seasoned journalist with nearly 10 years of experience. While studying journalism at the University of Tennessee, Mike found a passion for finding engaging stories. As a contributor to PDQ Wire, Mike mostly covers state and national developments.

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