Latest Cybersecurity News 2023-10-02

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Weekly CyberTip: Watch out for cottage scams

With the Canadian Thanksgiving weekend on the horizon and beautiful weather in the forecast, many people are looking for opportunities to get away with family and friends. If you’re looking for last-minute cottage rentals, though, stay vigilant. Scammers are posting fake ads on sites like Kijiji, using pictures from real rental properties, but inserting fake locations and payment details. Enticed by a great deal due to a “late cancellation”, you may be tempted to e-transfer money, but will not have a rental property to show for it when you get to your destination. Do your legwork, deal with a reputable site, and remember: if it’s too good to be true… maybe it isn’t.

CSAM 2023 kicks off

October 1 marked the launch of the 20th annual cybersecurity awareness month, and this year looks to have more activities than ever before. Some of the highlights: 

  • Canada’s Communications Security Establishment (CSE) and the Canadian Centre for Cyber Security (CCCS) have launched a refreshed page of resources and links for CSAM 2023. The theme for this year’s awareness program is “Step up your cyber fitness,” with information presented just like starting a new fitness routine. All of the resources are presented under the government’s Get Cyber Safe banner  


  • In the United States, “Secure our World” is the theme for the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency’s (CISA) awareness campaigns and programs. The updated CISA website presents a four-step strategy for staying safe online, and “encourages all of us to take action each day to protect ourselves when online or using connected devices”. 


  • The team at NIST have prepared an event calendar for October 2023, presenting webinars, events, and training opportunities that will appeal to everyone in the cyber field.  


  • a number of organizations are offering toolkits, posters, and other resources to help drive the message about cybersecurity at home and in the workplace. SANS has released a free package of materials focusing on four essential security behaviours: multi-factor authentication, password best practices, mobile device security, and recognizing/reporting phishing attacks. Security company KnowBe4 also has a free-to-download resource kit designed for various ages and sophistication levels. 


  • The team here at ISA Cybersecurity will also be very active on social media channels, delivering regular content updates and timely resources for business to help stay secure – in October and beyond.  

DarkBeam data breach exposes 3.8 billion records

An unprotected online database belonging to U.K. digital risk protection company DarkBeam has resulted in the exposure of the usernames and passwords of billions of user account users. Security researchers discovered and reported the exposed databases on September 18, with DarkBeam sealing off access almost immediately. It is not clear how long the database was open to the Internet for anyone to access or download the information. 


The email addresses and passwords involved were all related to data breaches from 2020 or earlier, and had been aggregated into 16 large repositories by DarkBeam, reportedly for the purpose of alerting its customers in the event of future cyber incidents. With so much data available at once, there is a heightened risk that hackers may have downloaded the databases and will use the information for phishing attacks, spearphishing attacks, or other brute force methods of penetrating systems. Of particular concern are situations in which people have reused passwords across multiple services; a breach of this nature makes it easy for hackers to pivot and test access to different services using known credentials. 


To check whether your credentials have been involved in a data breach, consider using an online checker like “have i been pwned?” and change any passwords that you feel may be at risk. In addition, be sure to look at multi-factor authentication (MFA) for your accounts to mitigate the risk of being hacked. 

Progress Software warns of critical vulnerability in WS_FTP server software

Progress Software, still doing damage control after June’s MOVEit file transfer software incident, has reported a critical vulnerability in another one of its products.  


On September 27, a bulletin on the Progress support portal announced the discovery of vulnerabilities in the WS_FTP Server Ad hoc Transfer Module and in the WS_FTP Server manager interface. All versions of WS_FTP Server versions prior to 8.7.4 and 8.8.2 are affected by the vulnerabilities. Progress has fixed the bugs in the software and “have made version-specific hotfixes available for customers to remediate them.” 


WS_FTP users are strongly advised to review the bulletin carefully and apply patches according to the instructions provided. 



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