Data breaches and cyber attacks in May 2022 affect 49.8 million records

June 4, 2022 |

May was hardly a banner month for cyber security 2022.  It governance has identified 77 security breaches in May 2022 resulting in 49,782,129 compromised records, a polite term for hackers accessing information.

The highlights are:

In a related matter security researchers have found that ,200 cloud-based Elasticsearch databases had been wiped out with hackers leaving a ransom note.  All told there werre 450 individual requests for ransom payment totaling over $280,000.  It is relevant to note that the databases were located in the cloud.  That is possible by using a tool like Shodan to identify data strings.  Then the hacker can run those searches automatically then  delete indices and insert ransom notes. Meanwhile Turkish airlines Pegasus, left an AWS  S3 bucket without password protection which resulted in a leak of sensitive flight data.  PegasusEFB’s open bucket left data in more than 23 million files accessible to anyone, while also exposing EFB software’s source code, which contained plain-text passwords and secret keys that could be used to tamper with the sensitive files.

The Ukraine has had nearly 14 million cyber incidents in the first quarter of 2022. Of these, 78,000 were treated as critical and that 63% of the suspicious events were detected within ministries and organisations and another 35% affected regional government administrations.  Most recently the Russians have cyber attacked the Southern Ukrainian city of Kherson disrupting communications.

In the United States a company specialising in facial recognition technology which has a contract with the US Government worth $7.2million had dozens of peoples data exposed in a breach.  The information that was unsecured included birthdays, home addresses and driver licence data.

The New South Wales Government insurance agency, Icare, sent private details of 193,000 injured worker to the incorrect employer.  The information was contained on spreadsheets in email attachments.  This is a depressingly famiiar type of breach for which government agencies have a particular specialty.  Just to show that government mistakes are not confined to the Southern Hemisphere in the UK the Central Bedforshire Council leaked details of dozens of special need pupils but publishing those details, unredacted on a public website.  The Council will have to contend with the UK Information Commissioner’s Office, a far more assertive regulator than exists in Australia.

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