Top Cybersecurity News of Sept 2023: Microsoft Accidentally Exposes 38TB Private Data

In this week’s cybersecurity news roundup, we delve into a series of incidents that underscore the ever-evolving landscape of digital threats. From a massive data leak at Microsoft’s AI research division to a costly cyberattack on Australia’s Medibank, here are this week’s top cybersecurity stories:

Microsoft AI Researchers Accidentally Expose 38 Terabytes of Confidential Data

In a significant security lapse, Microsoft AI researchers inadvertently exposed 38 terabytes of confidential data. The data leak occurred on the company’s AI GitHub repository, which was made public due to an overly permissive SAS token—an Azure feature for data sharing. The repository contained sensitive information like secrets, keys, passwords, and over 30,000 internal Teams messages. Microsoft has since revoked the SAS token and blocked external access to the storage account. The company also expanded its secret scanning service to prevent such incidents in the future. This event underscores the need for stringent security measures in handling large datasets, especially in the realm of AI.

Medibank Incurs $7.5 Million in Direct Tech Costs Following Cyber Attack

Medibank, an Australian health insurer, has disclosed a $46.4 million expense related to a high-profile cyber incident last year. The breakdown includes $7.5 million in direct technology costs, $22 million in administration expenses, and $15.6 million in employee benefits expenses. The attack, which occurred in October 2022, was facilitated through the credentials of a third-party contractor and resulted in the leak of information on 9.7 million customers. The company anticipates an additional $30-35 million in costs for IT security uplift and legal expenses. The annual report was audited by PwC Australia, which scrutinized the financial impact of the cyber incident on Medibank’s reporting.

Clop Gang Targets Major North Carolina Hospitals

The Clop ransomware gang has been implicated in a series of cyber thefts affecting major North Carolina hospitals. The Microsoft-owned healthcare technology firm Nuance revealed that the Clop gang exploited a zero-day vulnerability (CVE-2023-34362) in the MOVEit Transfer platform, a managed file transfer solution. The attack compromised personal data at several healthcare providers, including Atrium Health, Catawba Valley Medical Center, and Duke University Health System. Nuance has launched an investigation and has already addressed the issue by installing patches as soon as they were available. The incident highlights the escalating threats facing healthcare institutions and the need for robust cybersecurity measures.

Pizza Hut Australia Suffers Data Breach Affecting 190,000 Customers

Pizza Hut’s Australian division has experienced a data breach, compromising the personal information of approximately 190,000 customers. The exposed data includes names, delivery addresses, email addresses, and phone numbers. Intriguingly, customers’ pizza order histories were also leaked. The company became aware of the unauthorized third-party access in early September and has since secured its systems. Pizza Hut Australia engaged forensic and cybersecurity specialists to investigate the breach further. This is not the first cybersecurity incident for the fast-food chain; its UK and US operations were also targeted by ransomware attacks earlier this year.

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