A number of computer attacks and outages in the last few days is making talk show host Glenn Beck wonder if they are all related and in doing the research, I found a few other attacks that he didn’t mention.
Major Hospital System Down
Over the weekend, Universal Health Services, a major hospital chain with more than 400 locations, had what may be one of the largest medical cyber attacks in our country’s history. Their computer systems stopped working over the weekend and some hospital staff had to use old-fashioned paper and pens.
Their network is offline and it appears to be a Ransomware issue. These attacks usually happen on weekends when most companies have limited IT security help available. As of Tuesday morning,the company has suspended user access to their IT applications.
Microsoft has Major Outage
Microsoft 365 services had a major outage Monday evening that impacted business products including Outlook and the meeting software Teams. They are currently saying that a recent update was the problem and that it has been rolled back.
The company received almost 8,000 reports Monday night from users and there was also a Tweetstorm online when users couldn’t submit college assignments and had other issues. It took about six hours to get most of the services back up and working.
According to NBC News, law enforcement in many cities and counties in at least six states had to let their communities know through Twitter and by other means that their emergency lines had gone down.
The outages lasted for about an hour and it was unclear if it could be related to the Microsoft Outage or if it’s something separate from that. The outages appeared to have happened in Nevada, Pennsylvania, Arizona, Minnesota, Delaware and Ohio.
Flight Tracking Website Flightradar24 Taken Offline
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Flighttradar24, one of the most popular flight tracking websites in the world, was forced offline for the third time in two days after being attacked in “sustained” cyber attacks.
Government Contractor Tyler Technologies is Hacked
Tyler Technologies is one of the biggest software providers for America’s state and federal government. They provide web-based applications to the US public sector including student and school management software, public transport management solutions, jail management, courts and jury management systems, cyber-security solutions (don’t laugh), tax and billing software, fire and EMS solutions and city staff management systems.
According to Zdnet.com, they have reported that they are finding suspicious logins and previously unseen remote access tools on their networks and servers.
This comes on the heels of them announcing a ransomware attack last week and the company has also warned customers to be on the lookout for software being installed on their systems.
And here’s an interesting tidbit, folks…Reuters reports that some of their software is scheduled to be used in the upcoming United States presidential election that will be aggregating voting results from other sources into central dashboards.
and last but not least…
An Unnamed Federal Agency Was Hacked
According to the Federal News Network, an unnamed federal agency was hacked, giving someone, maybe a nation state, the time to set up two remote command-and-control points, review emails and documents to look for passwords and they network-hopped to find more info.
The hacking became known in December and the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency in the Homeland Security Department is talking about it so that it won’t happen to other agencies, especially during a surge in remote workers.
The government’s report can be seen here and outlines a cyberattack that leveraged compromised credentials and implanted sophisticated malware that evaded the system’s anti-malware protection and gained access that exploited weaknesses in the agency’s firewall.
Tom Kellermann, head of cybersecurity strategy for VMWare, says,“COVID-19 has undermined the cybersecurity of U.S. agencies. Telework and a 400% increase in attacks have allowed for intrusions. Telework places a huge strain on IT and security resources and these skeleton crews have lost both visibility and the capacity to harden these remote systems.”
Another interesting tidbit in the report talks about Microsoft Office 365 as the way that the hacker got in. They had valid access credentials for multiple users’ Microsoft Office 365 accounts and domain administrator accounts which allowed initial entry.
So the question is…what’s going on with the cyber attacks and the Microsoft 365 issues and does the increased activity have anything do do with an election that’s only about five weeks away.