Deep Fake – Do You Believe ?

Deep Fake

Deep Fake is emerging as a prominent new cyber threat which businesses are now facing and need to implement measures to counteract.

What is Deep Fake?

Deep Fake is a method that combines and superimposes existing images and videos onto source images onto source images and videos using artificial intelligence. It uses a machine learning  technique known as generative adversarial network (GANS)and first emerged towards the end of 2017.

Video content has historically been very difficult to change but with the use of artificial intelligence this has helped make the process easier.

What are the typical threats?

  • Creating an emergency situation that is not real and causing panic.
  • Disruption to an election by false statements
  • The making of a false announcement to directors and shareholders
  • An image of a director requesting the fraudulent transfer of funds.
  • Posing falsely as a partner that may affect a relationship
  • False video of a celebrity in compromising situations.

How are Deep Fakes detected?

Sophisticated deep fakes are difficult to detect where as the more amateurish ones can be spotted quite easily such by a lack of blinking or shadows of individuals that do not seem to be in the correct position.

It is also possible for them to also be trained to avoid detection and is therefore a cyber threat that is hard to combat.

Last week Google released a database of 3,000 deep fakes to alter faces and to make people say things they never said. These were of course actors the purpose of this was to help researchers build tools required to take down harmful fake videos that could cause distress to individuals and harm to businesses.  https://nakedsecurity.sophos.com/2019/09/27/google-made-thousands-of-deepfakes-to-aid-detection-efforts/

Well Known Deep Fakes

Deep fakes have been carried out on many famous individuals from Donald Trump to Tom Cruise and Theresa May.

Here are some examples

https://www.creativebloq.com/features/deepfake-examples

The Future of Deep Fakes

The world of Deep Fakes will no doubt develop beyond a level which makes them impossible to differentiate between what is real and what is not – this is one race that hackers seem to be so far ahead that it will be difficult catch them.

Image : Shutterstock

Artificial Intelligence – Helping Cyber Security

Artificial Intelligence

Artificial Intelligence (AI)  is now playing a significant role in helping to managing cyber risk. This was recently evident in the aftermath of the Nordsk Hydro ransomware attack where AI was utilised to identify further vulnerabilities.

This form of automative technology would seem to be a good match for managing the constant threats posed by hackers where new cyber attacks relentlessly attack computer systems and constant monitoring is required. Despite the automation basis there however still needs to be human involvement in this process.

How Does AI Work ?

Billions amounts of data is consumed by AI via machine learning and deep learning techniques. This makes it possible to improve and develop its cyber security bank of knowledge which ultimately provides a better understanding of existing and developing cyber risks.

AI utilizes reasoning in order to identify relationships cyber threats malware threats and dubious IP threats . This is then analysed in a very short period of time thus enabling users to respond and act on imminent cyber threats.

Where can Artificial Intelligence be used ?

  • Monitoring of computer systems
  • Predictive tool for new threats
  • Analysis of threats based on current activity
  • Monitor Human activity
  • Post data breach tool
  • Detection of viruses and malware

The Future 

Capgemini released a report last month “Reinventing Cybersecurity with Artificial intelligence”

https://www.capgemini.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/07/AI-in-Cybersecurity_Report_20190711_V06.pdf

The report revealed that 69% of organisations felt that AI will be necessary to respond to cyber attacks in the coming years. Telecoms in particularly were of the view that this would help mitigate the sizable losses already experienced in this sector. Many organisations are gearing up for testing the viability of AI and how it can help their cyber risk management processes. Budget provisions for this are being made as long term there are many  costs benefits in AI.

Artificial Intelligence is developing at a rapid rate and it is important that its application remains relevant to the cyber security sector as other industries also show an interest in this technology.

Image : Shutterstock

Are You Checking In With Hackers?

Hackers

Are you checking in with Hackers?

The hotel industry has been a prime target for hackers and this trend is likely to continue. So why are cyber attacks so prevelant within this sector?

Volumes of Data

Hotels hold vast quantities of data through many sources such as through their reservation systems for their customers . This will be personally identifiable information that would consist of names, addresss , e-mail addresses and passport details.

Online Payment Processing

Customers will log-in on a hotel website to make a reservation which will require them to provide debit or credit card details. These details could be compromised in the event of a data breach. Payment transactions can also remain exposed for a while on computer systems which presents further opportunity. In 2017 hotels accounted for 92% of all point of sale intrusions.

WiFi

The wi-fi in some hotels can be relatively insecure if their cyber security processes and procedures are not as robust as they should be. This can also lead to their data being compromised.

Symantec released a report this week which revealed that 67% of hotel websites surveyed leaked customer’s booking data. This was over 1500 hotel websites in 54 countries , this equates to two in three websites data could be used by third party sites such as advertisers.

https://www.symantec.com/blogs/threat-intelligence/hotel-websites-leak-guest-data

Supply Chain

Hotels relies on a supply chain which can include a number of contractors, broking and travel agencies . If there is a vulnerability with one of these it is possible that the hotel may be impacted by this causing business interruption or a data loss.

An Attractive Sector

This sector is a target because of the size of the market and the revenue that is generated each year, this provides opportunists threats for cyber criminals and the proliferation of fraud.

Cyber Attacks on the Hotel Industry

There have been a number of high profile cyber attacks on hotels where hackers have sought to steal data or cause disruption to the business.

Marriot International Hotels 

This is the largest data breach in this sector but also one of the largest in the world.

500 million guests were exposed to this cyber attack which included names and addresses and passport numbers. The attack emanated from the Starwood guest reservation database with who they had recently merged.Starwood themselves had previously experienced a data breach a number of years earlier.

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/2018/11/30/private-data-500-million-marriott-guests-exposed-massive-breach/

Hyatt Hotels Corp

Hackers hit the restaurants front desks and parking facilities at 40% of their hotels situated around the world over a four month period.

It is understood that malware was designed to collect cardholder names, numbers and expiration dates.

Hilton Worldwide

Access was gained via the payment card system but on this occasion their was no evidence that data was stolen. The systems were in fact attack twice , cardholder details were again the main target.

As with all business that rely heavily on business via on-line transactions their cyber risk is very high and it is important that cyber risk management is a central focus to management.

Image : Shutterstock

How Secure Is Your Supply Chain?

Supply Chain

Many businesses are now reliant on third parties in order to function and to provide their goods or services. These third parties are likely to form a supply chain providing such capabilities as IT services, HR outsourcing and hosting services.

The calibre of these services can vary greatly be they a large conglomerate to small local business. Each suppler will have they own cyber security processes and procedures that should be embedded within the business….. but in practice is this the case and what is the impact on a business if they suffer a cyber security breach?

With reliance now placed on a supply chain it is important that due diligence is carried to ensure that this resilience is in place.

What sort of processes can be carried out in order to provide some assurances?

  • Regular cyber security audits of third party vendors
  • Prioritization of vendors for critical services
  • Review of data monitoring standards of third parties
  • Ensure own security procedures remain at a high standard enforcing regular patching and installation of latest firewalls.
  • Managing of privileges provided outside of the business
  • Robust procurement processes for new vendors
  • Management of contractual liability with the vendor in the event of a possible data breach
  • Due diligence of cloud service providers
  • Insurance checklist for professional indemnity and or cyber insurance by the vendor
  • Review interconnected devices to managed The Internet of Things ( IoT) exposures

The supply chain of a business can be their weakest link and managing this should be given the same level of attention as the internal cyber risks that exist.

The National Cyber Security Center publish a list of some of the risks that businesses should look out for :-

https://www.ncsc.gov.uk/content/files/protected_files/guidance_files/Cyber-security-risks-in-the-supply-chain.pdf

The consequences of a third party suffering a compromise of their computer systems could lead to  the following:-

1.Business Interruption

2. Reputational Damage

3.Regulatory Actions and Fines

4.Loss of customers

5.Costs incurred to the business to rectify loss of data or damage to computer systems

6.There have been a number of high profile data breaches where losses have emanated from the supply chain :-

Target

In December 2003 hackers gained access to the heating and ventilation system of the retailer Target. As a result of network credentials being stolen from a mechanical services engineer the hackers were then able to gain access to credit and debit card data of customers. The cost of the breach is thought to be close to $300M with 100 million individuals being affected and the CIO of Target resigning soon after the breach.

Stuxnet

This was a malicious computer worm that targeted automated processes utilized to control machinery on factory assembly lines and systems within the nuclear industry.

It was introduced into a supply network via an infected USB flash drive by individuals that had access to the system It was then possible for the worm to move across the network which scans software that controls machinery and n influence the commands that were given.

NonPetya

Last year NonPetya was a malicious code aimed at software supply chains. The targets were outdated and unpatched Windows systems utilizing the EternalBlue vulnerability which hit many global businesses such as WPP DLAPiper and Maersk.

The hackers initially breached a financial services company in the name of MeDoc which was a third party software service readily utilized by goverments. Once access had been obtained they were able to install malware on their software which was then distributed to end users when the latest update was downloaded.

A report earlier this year by Symantec reported that there had been a 200% increase over the last 12 months in hackers injecting malware implants into the supply chain to gain access to the organizations computer systems.

https://www.symantec.com/content/dam/symantec/docs/reports/istr-23-2018-en.pdf

Perhaps one of the keys to ensuring that a supply chain is secure is to try and enforce the supply chain to have in place similar robust cyber security procedures and practices to the business in order to manage the evolving cyber risk landscape that exists.

 

Image : Shutterstock

The Holiday Cyber Risk Landscape

Holiday

The holiday season is now in full swing where people travel to far off destinations to enjoy a well earned break and to spend time with their families. Unfortutely the cyber threat remains with us …… and arguably is increased as people’s guard is somewhat down due to the relaxed environment that being on holiday promotes.

A survey carried out by Keeper Security Inc last year showed that the US posed to the greatest threat to holiday makers from hackers, however more worryingly the UK came in a second place with France, Spain and Italy also featuring in the top ten.

https://www.marieclaire.co.uk/entertainment/technology/cyber-security-holiday-destinations-523668

Some of the cyber threats that exist to indivuals and businesses are as follows :-

Insecure Wi-Fi Networks

A hotel wi-if network may be vulnerable if not secured with the latest security encryption software. This could also be said of restaurants or cafes. Attacks know as “Man in the Middle” where a third party is listening and changing information pretending to both the user and the application can intercept highly sensitive data and use this to compromise a users details.

GCHQ regularly warn travellers of the threats posed by insecure wi-fi networks and the holidayseason is when these threats become more prevalent. It is therefore important to check that the wi-if has the appropriate safety protocols in place in particularly when money is being transacted.

Holiday Scam E-mails 

It is conceivable that an individual could fall foul of a hacker before they leave their house .Holiday scam e-mails may portray a bogus website that offers a holiday deal which is too good to be true and the likelihood is that this could well be the case. Funds could be stolen by an on-line transaction with debit or credit card details also being compromised by a hacker.

Being Aware

Leaving a laptop or smart phone on your beach towel of on a cafe table opens opportunity for a speculative hacker to steal an electronic device and use data themselves or to post on the dark web to be sold at a later date.

Keeping a tight ship

The same principle applies to businesses during the holiday season who may not have their usual numbers in their cyber security team which creates an environment where threats could be missed or not acted upon as quickly as normal. A greater reliance therefore is imposed on everyday users to carry out good cyber hygiene in their everyday work schedule. Watching out for phishing e-mails and dubious website links which could lead for example to an incident of fraud or a ransom ware attack.

Back Home

Once back home it is good housekeeping to to check matters such as bank statements to ensure that no fraudulent transactions have taken place and that you can account for everything spent.

At work looking for any unusual e-mail activity or change in the functionality of your computer in case a virus may have downloaded itself whilst you were away.

Wherever you are on holiday cyber threats exist in many forms , hackers do not go on holiday so it is vitally important that you maintain the same cyber security posture.

The Challenges Facing Cyber Security

Cyber Security

What are the challenges facing cyber security in 2018?

These will involve the development of existing threat vectors and the emergence of new ones, keeping up with the evolving capabilities of hackers will never be more difficult to repel and prevent.

General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR)

This presents a major challenge to all organisations with time marching towards the 25th May deadline. Many businesses in the SME space are behind the curve in their preparations for this and will do well to meet this deadline. If missed they will face the wrath of the ICO and possible fines for non-compliance.

https://ico.org.uk/for-organisations/guide-to-the-general-data-protection-regulation-gdpr/

Artificial Intelligence (AI) 

AI and machine learning is now available to hackers to conduct cyber attacks providing a challenging new cyber threat landscape that will need to be navigated. Machine learning will also be used for the good as it can assist the cyber security sector in analysing and monitoring new and existing threats.

Internet of Things (IoT)

The IoT theat is likely to develop further with possible focus on critical infrastructures and home devices. With it now being possible to purchase botnet kits on the dark web it is becoming easier to set up DDoS attacks.

State Sponsored Cyber Attacks

These do not look they will be alleviating any time soon and are likely to grow eminating from countries that look to install government instalibility or to carry out cyber espionage.

Ransomware

Ransomware will continue to be a major cyber security threat with new strains being developed by hackers focusing on businesses that have immature cyber risk management.

Mobile Breaches

The threat of mobile breaches is still very much with us and this could be the year that a substantial breach occurs. This could happen via a vulnerability in an app which may itself contain considerable amounts of data that a hacker could gain access to for ill gains.

Bitcoin and Blockchain

Bitcoin, the leading cryptocurrency made the headlines at the end of last year with its value increasing by leaps and bounds before coming back down to a more sensible valuation. Blockchain is not very well understood , but is now recognized as method in which fraud can be prevented and will gain in popularity as it becomes more mainstream.

Trust

Trust is emerging as a side issue in the development of cyber security. Trust that business are safe to trade with and that in the event of a data breach they will act in an honorable fashion and in the best interests of their employees and shareholders. This will impact on future trading and the reputation of a business.

What Will Cyber Criminals focus on?

  • Supply Chain

Cyber threats are being targeted on supply chains as their computer systems do not always have the same standard of cyber security as the main contractor this presenting oportinuties for hackers to exploit inferior systems as a gateway to compromising the main contractors systems. This is likely to continue.

  • The Healthcare Sector

This sector has always been a principal focus for hackers as the stolen data can be used for a number of things.With the standard of cyber security not being considered the most robust this presents this sector as being vulnerable to hackers.

SME businesses

The general immaturity of SME’s computer systems and lack of cyber risk management makes them a prime target for hackers . The mentality of “ it won’t happen to us “ does not hold true and is a dangerous game to play.

Adequate levels of cyber security risk management and the emergence of cyber insurance will play an important part in managing a cyber attack on a businesses’s computer systems. The challenges that lay ahead in the coming year will be huge and defending a business against such a varied threat landscape will be demanding.

Image : Shutterstock