At a glance.
- Report: breach at Cox Communication.
- Report: test subject breach at DDC.
- Data breach in South Australia.
- A case of human error.
Cox Communications intrusion likely a social engineering attack.
US digital cable provider and telecom Cox Communications has confirmed a threat actor gained access to customer data by impersonating a customer support agent. Cox learned of the incident in October, and though details are few, it’s likely the intruder used social engineering strategies to infiltrate Cox’s internal systems. The breach notification reads, “We immediately launched an internal investigation, took steps to secure the affected customer accounts, and notified law enforcement of the incident.” The potentially exposed data includes customer names, contact info, Cox account numbers, usernames, PIN codes, and security questions and answers. Bleeping Computer asked Cox for details regarding the number of impacted customers and how the breach took place, but did not receive a response.
DNA Diagnostics Center suffers test subject data breach.
The data breach of US paternity testing firm DNA Diagnostics Center (DDC ) has potentially exposed the data of more than 2.1 million individuals. CPO Magazine explains that the attacker compromised a database archive containing test subject data collected between 2004 and 2012, and potentially exfiltrated data from the database between May 24 to July 28. The compromised data includes full names, Social Security numbers, credit and debit card info, financial account numbers, and system passwords. On the bright side, no genetic data was stolen. DDC’s statement attempted to minimize the impact of the incident, noting that the breached system is no longer in use and that the data in question had been acquired from another entity. “DDC acquired certain assets from this national genetic testing organization in 2012 that included certain personal information, and therefore, impacts from this incident are not associated with DDC,” the testing firm stated.
South Australia government hit by third-party attack.
The ransomware attack of payroll software provider Frontier Software has compromised the data of tens of thousands of South Australia (SA) employees, possibly including political leaders like Premier Steven Marshall. ABC reports that Frontier, which has supplied payroll services to the SA government since 2001, was hit with ransomware last month, and the hackers have already published stolen data on the dark web. Treasurer Rob Lucas stated, "The highest of the high to the lowest of the low and all of the rest of us in between are potentially impacted, with the exception of teachers and the Department for Education.” (The education department, fortunately, doesn’t use Frontier’s services.) Government officials say their main focus is the welfare of employees, and that employee pay cycles should not be interrupted as a result of the attack. Still, the breach has some officials questioning the security of the SA government’s systems. Shadow Treasurer Stephen Mullighan commented "It is now clear the Marshall Liberal government can't be trusted to keep South Australians' data safe...The government has to explain why a security breach that happened four weeks ago is being revealed only now.”
School district breach caused by human error.