Dec 152018

Joshua Chan reports:

Dozens of students were shocked to learn that they were suspended from SF State last week when an email appearing to be from California State University’s chancellor gave them the bad news. But when they clicked on a link in the email, the truth was revealed — they had just been hacked.

The phishing email was sent around Dec. 4. Aliea Glenn, a biology major, was among those targeted.


Another fake email claimed that students need to “re-validate” their email storage, and that their account was unable to receive new emails until they clicked the link. 

Read more on Golden Gate Express.

Dec 122018

Brett Kelman reports an update to a phishing incident in September:

A large Nashville-based healthcare company that was hacked earlier this year said Tuesday an internal investigation has revealed the stolen emails were intercepted before they were ever opened by the cyberattacker.

Aspire Health, which offers in-home treatment in 25 states, has also abandoned its legal hunt for the unknown hacker that targeted them.

Read more on Tennessean.

Dec 082018

Ionut Arghire reports:

A threat group possibly originating from North Korea has been targeting academic institutions since at least May of this year, NetScout’s security researchers reveal.

The attackers use spear-phishing emails that link to a website where a lure document attempts to trick users into installing a malicious Google Chrome extension. Following initial compromise, off-the-shelf tools are used to ensure persistence. 

The campaign likely hit other targets as well, though NetScout says that only those domains targeting academia were intended to install a malicious Chrome extension. Many of the intended victims, across multiple universities, had expertise in biomedical engineering. 

The actors behind the attack, however, displayed poor OPSEC, which allowed the researchers to find open web browsers in Korean, English-to-Korean translators, and keyboards switched to Korean. 

Read more on SecurityWeek.

Dec 082018

Laura Krantz reports:

Hackers stole more than $800,000 from Cape Cod Community College last week when they infiltrated the school’s bank accounts, the school notified its employees Friday.

Several computers in the school’s Nickerson Administration Building were hacked by a phishing scheme that used malware to obtain access to the school’s accounts, according to an e-mail from the school president, John Cox, sent Friday afternoon to school faculty and staff.

Read more on Boston Globe.

Dec 032018

CORRECTION:  I don’t know how I did it, but instead of typing 42,000, I kept typing 92,000 when I originally wrote this one up.  The number of patients affected was 41,948, as it said at the bottom of the post.  My apologies to CTCA.

Another phishing incident where an employee’s email account was storing a lot of patient information. And because it wasn’t clear whether any of the data were accessed in the few hours that the account was compromised, the entity had to notify almost 42,000 patients. Surely reducing the amount of stored mail in employee accounts could reduce the cost of incidence response and the blow to patient trust, no?  From their web site, their notice:

Cancer Treatment Centers of America® at Western Regional Medical Center Patient Notification

Cancer Treatment Centers of America® (CTCA) at Western Regional Medical Center recently learned about a security incident that may have involved certain personal information about some of our patients.

On September 26, 2018, we discovered that, for a brief period, an unauthorized user accessed the email account of one of our employees due to a “phishing” attack. The employee had provided their network log-in credentials in response to a fraudulent email that appeared to come from a CTCA® executive. We promptly opened an investigation and retained a nationally recognized forensics firm to assist us in this matter. The investigation determined that it was possible for the unauthorized user to access information in the email account for only a short time on May 2, 2018. The investigation further confirmed that, within hours of the phishing attack, the employee’s password had been changed at the direction of the CTCA Information Technology Department, after which the compromised credentials could no longer be used to access the email account. However, because we were unable to determine whether the unauthorized user actually accessed any personal information, we are providing notice of this event. The personal information that may have been accessed included patient names and may have also included patients’ address, date of birth, email, phone number, and/or medical information, such as medical record number, facility, treatment dates, physician name, cancer type, and/or health insurance information. For a very small number of patients the information also included social security numbers. No financial information was involved.

CTCA will individually notify potentially impacted patients for whom we have a valid mailing address. For the few patients whose social security numbers may have been involved, the notice will include specific information about how to enroll in free credit monitoring and identity protection services. These services will be provided free of charge for 12 months. Impacted patients are advised to regularly monitor any explanation of benefits statements received from their health plan to check for any unfamiliar health care services. If patients notice any health care services they did not receive listed on one of these statements, they should contact their health plan.

We take our responsibility to safeguard personal information seriously and remain committed to protecting patient privacy and security. We have provided additional education to our workforce about how to identify suspicious emails to help ensure this does not happen in the future. If you have any questions about this situation, please do not hesitate to contact our dedicated assistance line at 1-877-441-2645, from 8 a.m. – 8 p.m. CT, Monday through Saturday (excluding major U.S. holidays).

In response to an inquiry from, a spokesperson informed this site that 41,948 patients were affected.