Need to Know Information about the Recent Verizon Hack
Verizon Enterprise Solutions is a security product, designed to help clients respond to security breaches. As such, it naturally becomes the target for hackers who would love to slay the mightiest dragon in the land. One group of hackers has done so.
The Down & Dirty on Verizon’s Big Breach
Krebs on Security just reported that a notorious member of an underground cybercrime forum, which has been under heavy surveillance for some time now, recently posted a thread in which the hacker advertises a database for sale that contains contact information for some 1.5 million customers of the Verizon Enterprise Solutions product. According to Krebs, the seller offers to provide the database to the buyer in multiple formats, one of which is MongoDB, leading security experts to believe that the attackers were able to get the MongoDB system to offer up its goods via a security vulnerability.
The entire Verizon Enterprise Solutions database is offered for a flat fee of $100,000, but the seller also offers to provide it in pieces, for the sum of $10,000 per 100,000 records. The seller is also offering the option for buyers to purchase information on the security vulnerabilities that were found on the Verizon site, so that other hackers can take a more DIY approach to getting the data. Verizon is in the process of notifying users that might have been exposed during this breach.
Hackers will always go after your weakest link. Sometimes, that’s careless users. Other times, it might be a vulnerability in your software or a security gap in your network.
The first step in infrastructure security is user education. Though attacks are becoming more sophisticated, the majority of threats come in like a lamb, and only roar like a lion once they’ve infiltrated your network. Phishing attacks and emailed viruses are the most common ways to get into a secure network. According to those investigating the Verizon attack, the stolen data is most likely to be used for further phishing attempts, because it only contained basic contact information on the victims, not any proprietary or personally identifying information, such as credit card or social security numbers. This kind of data can be used to generate socially-engineered attacks that are designed to look quite legitimate, sometimes fooling even the savviest of victims.
The second step is to back educated users with solid security systems. This includes firmware and strong antivirus software, which is updated regularly. However, since vulnerabilities are continually discovered, this software needs to be supplemented with rigorous monitoring systems.
Vulnerabilities can lie in several areas, including: careless users, software application development, network engineering, partners’ and vendors’ systems or partners’ and vendors’ access to your systems. While IT security has to get it right 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days per year, a hacker only has to get it right one single time in order to gain access to crucial systems and databases. The odds are not in your favor.