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Cost of Sony Hack Has Reached $15 Million

Cost of Sony HackThe Sony Pictures Entertainment hack, a recent and large scale information security breaches, was given an estimated price tag as of February 4th 2015. The chaos resulting from the hack has caused Sony to file for an extension to report on its third quarter earnings, but was still required to present what information they had as an estimate to investors. In a company press conference, Sony announced that the hack, the investigation, and remediation cost the company an estimated $15 Million. This is a drop in the bucket compared to the forecast loss of 1.4 billion for the whole of the fiscal year.

Cost of Sony Hack Still Climbing

Let us be clear, the cost of approximately $15 million is just the estimate made and reported to investors for the purposes of the third quarter earnings release.  As the investigation is not complete, the cost is only related to the costs in the third quarter of the fiscal year, and does not include potential future costs incurred relating to the hack. It will likely be more when the full accounting has been completed.

Human Cost of Sony Hack

With the hack, and release of company e-mails to the public, there came a subsequent shake up in company leadership.  Amy Pascal, cochairman of Sony Pictures Entertainment, stepped down from her role after a career with the company of twenty years. Under her leadership Sony Pictures helmed commercial and critical hits like “The Social Network”, “Skyfall”, and “American Hustle” that boosted Sony Pictures Entertainment’s profile as a quality movie production company. Her departure leaves a gap in their senior management, and an uncertain future for the company

Avoid the Cost to Your Company

At Working Nets, we know that handling the cybersecurity for a business while actually keeping that business running can seem impossible, especially in the daunting face of cyber-attacks against much larger businesses. Outsourcing your IT can give you peace of mind and allow you to take care of the things that are important for your company. Working Nets is a Maryland based IT Service and Security company that services small businesses nationwide. We’re always on top of emerging cybersecurity trends and threats so you don’t have to be.

To talk to someone about managed IT for your business, give us a call at (443) 992-7394. We’d be happy to assist you with your professional business networking needs.

You can also visit WorkingNets.com and follow us on FacebookTwitterLinkedIn and Google+

Sony Pictures Hack Highlights Importance of Cybersecurity

cybersecurityIn today’s fast paced and increasingly digital world, stories on companies being hacked are, unfortunately, not unusual. However, as revelations pile up, it appears that a hack perpetrated on Sony Pictures on 11/24 is anything but usual. Attacks like these highlight the importance of maintaining top-notch cybersecurity and Working Nets is here with the details.

What Happened?

Around 11am, Monday, November 24th, emails began to circulate around Sony Pictures employees instructing them to stop using their computers, corporate email accounts, and cell phone wifi access. As the news traveled it became clear that hackers had seized an estimated 11,000 gigabytes of data that may have included personal passwords, financial information, passport and visa info of cast and crew along with info regarding Sony’s IT systems. As Sony began to look for possible perpetrators, even more information was found floating around on the web, including the movies AnnieMr. Turner, and Still Alice, which have not yet been released in theatres. Further investigation into the leaked files turned up employee criminal background checks, salary negotiations, and medical information as well as the script for an unreleased pilot written by Breaking Bad creator Vince Gilligan.

And this is just the tip of the iceberg. All this information makes the Sony Pictures hack easily the worst corporate hack in recorded history.

How Can I Protect My Business?

Well, you can start by not angering North Korea. Sony has publicly speculated that the attack may be a form of retaliation against the upcoming release of The Interview, a comedy starring James Franco and Seth Rogan wherein they play characters who attempt to assassinate North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

Of course, the likelihood that your business has threatened the DPRK is very low, but that doesn’t mean these kinds of attacks couldn’t happen to you. If your cybersecurity isn’t being professionally monitored and updated, your business could have serious vulnerabilities you might not even know about.

Protect Your Business With Cybersecurity From Working Nets

At Working Nets, we know that handling the cybersecurity for a business while actually keeping that business running can seem impossible, especially in the daunting face of cyber-attacks against much larger businesses. Outsourcing your IT can give you peace of mind and allow you to take care of the things that are important for your company. Working Nets is a Maryland based IT Service and Security company that services small businesses nationwide. We’re always on top of emerging cybersecurity trends and threats so you don’t have to be.

To talk to someone about managed IT for your business, give us a call at (443) 992-7394. We’d be happy to assist you with your professional business networking needs.

You can also visit WorkingNets.com and follow us on FacebookTwitterLinkedIn and Google+

Watch Out For “Regin” Malware

ReginAt Working Nets, we know that staying on top of the latest in emerging security threats while running a small business can seem impossible. That’s why we’re here with updates on significant developments in the field of cyber security and their implications for your business. While many pieces of malware originate from abroad, this latest technological threat is home-grown, from the United States government as a matter-of-fact. Known as “Regin,” this piece of spyware, recently discovered by security firm Symatec, has been spying on international businesses for at least 6 years.

What is Regin?

Regin is a type of malware known as a Trojan, which is defined as a non-replicating piece of malware which disguises itself as a benign or useful program and typically opens a back door through which a third party can steal data and manipulate the infected computer.

Symantec has described Regin as “a complex piece of malware whose structure displays a degree of technical competence rarely seen.” This highly elusive and versatile piece of malware uses a structure typically employed for long-term intelligence-gathering. Regin has been found observing government organizations, infrastructure operators, businesses, academics, and individuals, collecting massive amount of data for years.

The largest percentage of targets infected with Regin have been small businesses and private individuals, the vast majority of whom are located in Saudi Arabia and Russia, but has also been seen found in Mexico, Ireland, India, Afghanistan, Iran, Belgium, Austria, and Pakistan.

How Does It Work?

With a highly modifiable structure, Regin can inject custom features and software into a target. It then follows up with a five-stage decrypting process delivering valuable information and complete access to a remotely connected host.

Where is Regin From?

Symantec’s initial assessment stated that “The development and operation of this malware would have required a significant investment of time and resources, indicating that a nation state is responsible.” Recent reports have shown strong evidence indicating that Regin can be traced to U.S. and U.K. officials, like the much maligned Stuxnet malware.

What Does Regin Mean for My Small Business?

The revelations about the extensive length of time and breadth of focus of Regin illustrate that the largest cyber-security threats facing businesses do not come from small-time independent hackers, but by vast, highly organized, and well-funded government organizations. Threats may come from any direction, within our borders, or globally, and staying prepared and in the know about cyber security is paramount to your businesses success.

Keep Your Private Information Secure with Working Nets

Outsourcing your IT can give you peace of mind and allow you to take care of the things that are important for your company. Working Nets is a Maryland based IT Service and Security company that services businesses nationwide. We’re always on top of emerging cyber security trends and threats so you don’t have to be.

To talk to someone about managed IT for your business, give us a call at (443) 992-7394. We’d be happy to assist you with your professional business networking needs.

You can also visit WorkingNets.com and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+

Apple iCloud Security Breach

The imminent launch of apple’s latest iPhone has been marred by an internet security breach of epic proportions. Over the past weekend users of the website 4chan began leaking a series of racy celebrity photos apparently stolen from individual iCloud accounts. Victims included actresses Jennifer Lawrence and Kirsten Dunst, as well as model Kate Upton, and many more.

internet security, internet hacking

This recent spate of internet hacking prompted Apple to respond by reassuring users that the theft did not occur through a breach in any of Apple’s systems, including iCloud. According to Apple the thefts were a resulted of targeted hacking and phishing schemes, an attack where hackers gain access to user’s accounts by luring targets into clicking on a compromised URL.  Some have speculated that the attack may have been made possible through the iPhone’s Find My iPhone feature which, until recently, had a bug which could allow someone to continually guess passwords without being ejected from the system. Apple has refuted this speculation, stating in a press release that “None of the cases we have investigated has resulted from any breach in any of Apple’s systems including iCloud® or Find my iPhone.”

Brute Force

Most security experts agree that the theft was the result of a brute-force attack on individual accounts. “Brute-forcing” is a technique wherein hackers use password generators to quickly try thousands of common password combinations on specific accounts. Accounts with weak or common passwords are much more vulnerable to this method of hacking than those with more complicated, unique passwords. The FBI has reported that it is working on the case but has delivered no other official comments at this time.

The major internet security breach could not have come at a worse time for Apple. Aside from the impending launch of a new device, Apple has been reported to be only a week away from officially announcing plans on launching a mobile wallet (which would store credit card information) and a wearable device that could track and record details about a user’s personal health.

Personal Safety

If anything, this incident has highlighted the importance of keeping track of where your information is being stored and of maintaining strong personal security over all of your accounts and devices.

It’s also important to remember that the security for your small business relies on a working knowledge of mobile device information as well as information on different websites and scams. We recognize that you don’t always have that kind of time as a small business owner, which is why we offer cyber security and managed IT services. To talk to someone about cyber security for your small business, give us a call at (443) 992-7394. We’d be happy to assist you with your professional business networking needs.

You can also visit WorkingNets.com and follow us on FacebookTwitterLinkedIn and Google+

Sources:

Reuters

The Verge

Cybersecurity News: Chinese Hackers Access American Weapons Designs

Chinese HackersCiting “Resilient Military Systems and the Advanced Cyber Threat,” a report prepared for the Defense Department by the Defense Science Board, the Washington Post reports that Chinese Hackers have very recently accessed American Weapons Designs, including aspects of the nation’s missile defenses, fighter aircraft, and warships. Click Here for a full list of the compromised systems.

In a report to Congress earlier this month, the Pentagon stated that the United States government had been targeted by hackers that appeared to be “attributable directly to the Chinese government and military.”

“From the president on down, this has become a key point of concern and discussion with China at all levels of our governments—and it will continue to be,” said National Security Adviser Tom Donilon.

Of course Chinese officials have denied any involvement.

“China pays high attention to the cyber security issue and is firmly opposed to all forms of hacker attacks,” said Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei. “Since it is very difficult to find out the origin of hacker attacks, it is very difficult to find out who carried out such attacks. I don’t know what the evidence is for media to make such kinds of reports.”

President Barack Obama is scheduled to meet with Chinese President Xi Jinping in the next 10 days.

“I’m sure it will be a topic of discussion,” said White House press secretary Jay Carney of the recent hacking.

“Cybersecurity is one of this administration’s top priorities, and we have long said that we are concerned about cyber intrusions emanating from China,” said Laura Lucas, a spokeswoman for the National Security Council. “What we have been seeking from China is for it to investigate our concerns and to start a dialogue with us on cyber issues.”

If you have any questions about Cybersecurity, please contact Working Nets by calling (443) 992-7394 or visit WorkingNets.com today! You can also follow us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Google+.

Source:

  1. Chinese hackers breach key US weapons designs Yahoo! News
  2. Chinese hackers steal U.S. weapons systems designs, report says NBC News

Cybersecurity News: The Current State of the Cybersecurity Act of 2012

The Cybersecurity Act of 2012: “To enhance the security and resiliency of the cyber and communications infrastructure of the United States.”

As you may or may not know, The Cybersecurity Act of 2012, sponsored by Joseph Lieberman (I–CT) and Susan Collins (R–ME), was defeated in the Senate after failing to gain the 60 votes necessary to move the bill past cloture and go up for a full vote. Obviously, the Act is still not ready, at least in the eyes of the Senate. And Senator Al Franken (D-Minn), a strong proponent for national cybersecurity, agrees. But he also acknowledges that something must be done.

“News reports and experts confirm that our nation’s critical infrastructure-such as our water systems, our power grid, and so forth-are vulnerable to attacks from hackers and foreign governments,” said Sen. Franken. “…Our nation needs to respond to those threats.”

Luckily, Franken has a solution. Rather than scrapping the Cybersecurity Act of 2012 all together, Franken believes it can be amended.

“The Cybersecurity Act is not perfect, but when it comes to striking a balance between cybersecurity and privacy and civil liberties, it is the only game in town,” said Sen. Franken. “Unfortunately, it’s hard to write a good cybersecurity bill-because when you try to make it easier for the government or Internet companies to detect and stop the work of hackers or other bad actors, you often end up making it very easy for those same entities to snoop in on the lives of innocent Americans.”

Franken has proposed several amendments that would remove provisions found in Section 701 of the Cybersecurity Act of 2012 that allow Internet Service Providers (ISPs) the authority to monitor and take actions against their users. It is the Senator’s hope that these amendments will alleviate many of the issues that his fellow Senators have with the Act.

“And I hope that my colleagues here in the Senate will join me in passing this amendment,” added Sen. Franken.

If you have any questions about Cybersecurity, please contact Working Nets by calling (443) 992-7394 or visit WorkingNets.com today!

Welcome to Working Nets – your virtual IT Department!

At Working Nets, we support your business by providing top-notch Information Technology (I.T.) services to companies like yours: Companies that don’t need full-time I.T. services, but do need someone to turn to, when they are having a problem. We provide services like Network Design, Monitoring and Maintenance. We troubleshoot technical issues when they arise, and give you options for solving them. We help you use your technology investment to achieve your business goals.

At Working Nets, our focus is on your needs!

You can also follow us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Google+.

Sources:

Sen. Franken: Improved Cybersecurity Bill Will Better Protect Privacy, Civil Liberties, but Still Needs Work

Franken Amendment Would Remove Worst Part of Cybersecurity Bill