Cyber Round-up

Cyber Round-up for 1st February

Welcome to the Ironshare Cyber Round-up where we look back at the events of that last week and handpick some of the news, posts, views, and highlights from the world of Security.

In this week’s round-up:

  • Airbus Data Exposed in Breach
  • Malware Takes Down Systems at Kwik Fit Garages
  • Apple Blocks Google and Facebook Due to Privacy Violation
  • UK Banking Customers Against 2FA

Airbus Data Exposed in Breach

The commercial aircraft giant Airbus have issued a statement on their website regarding a Cyber Security incident that resulted in unauthorised access to their systems and data.

As only limited information is available about the incident, how much data has been exposed, and the impact to employees or its customers, is not yet understood. Although, in their statement, Airbus report that the incident had no impact to its commercial operations.

“Investigations are ongoing to understand if any specific data was targeted, however we do know some personal data was accessed. This is mostly professional contact and IT identification details of some Airbus employees in Europe.”

This appears to be another sign that companies of all sizes are not doing enough to secure their systems and data. Hackers are finding it too easy to identify vulnerable internet connected systems that can be exploited and compromised.

Companies need to ensure they have several layers of security in place that can protect the organisation and maintain strong levels of data privacy. Perimeter firewalls and gateways combined with standard anti-virus products is no longer enough to defend against modern advanced threats.

Malware Takes Down Systems at Kwik Fit Garages

Kwik Fit, one of the big names in the UK for vehicle tyres, MOT and servicing, were hit by a computer virus that halted their online operations for a period and resulted in significant impact to its customers for most of this week.

In conversation with the BBC a Kwik Fit spokeswomen confirmed that they had experienced issues with their IT systems, which was the result of a computer virus infection, and that their IT team were busy trying to get their systems back up and running.

“This [issue] affected a number of our systems but in the interest of ongoing security we can’t confirm the source of the problem. We have been working to get our operational systems back up and running normally and while there is still some disruption, our centres are open as usual.”

To date Kwik Fit have not issued a press release regarding this issue but have been communicating with their unhappy clients via social media. In a statement they claim that they do not store any financial information, and at this time have no reason to believe that any customer data has been compromised.

Although not confirmed, due to the time taken to recover from the incident it is likely that this could be the result of a ransomware attack.

Unfortunately, the amount of cancelled appointments and unhappy customers has not only hit Kwik Fit financially but has also had a huge impact on customer trust and the overall reputation of the business. Recovery from a cyber attack can take weeks and even months, but reputational damage caused can take years to repair.

Don’t take risks with your business reputation, bolster your cyber defences before disaster strikes.

Apple Blocks Google and Facebook Due to Privacy Violation

Google and Facebook and have been repeatedly in the news recently regarding their lax approach to data privacy, and this week has been no different. With very few opponents capable of punishing these two internet giants, Apple took on the task to lay down the law after both firms managed to breach their developer agreements.

Facebook were hit hard first, when Apple found that they had been using special developer certificates for internal applications to distribute their tracking ‘Research App’ to teenage customers. These certificates are meant for the Apple enterprise program and give the software developer the ability to install powerful apps on iOS devices for use by company employees only.

A block on Google then swiftly followed, after their ‘Screenwise Meter App’, designed to monitor how people use their iPhones, was also found to be using an AEP developer certificate.

Apple’s revocation of these certificates has significant impact on the firms, which not only prevents the apps from being distributed to devices but also stops them from working altogether. To compound the issue a single certificate can be used with all the internal apps for an organisation, not just one.

Facebook confirmed that all their apps were impacted by this action. Unlike Facebook, who have had a few disputes with Apple around privacy concerns, Google had the benefit of working more closely with them to resolve the issues quickly.

Other companies such as Amazon and Sonos, may also be added to this list soon as it is believed that they too are issuing beta apps to non-employees. With Apples renewed hard line on privacy and agreement violations, other vendors should learn from the example made here.

In the last couple of days both Facebook and Google have confirmed that their certificates and internal app access has been restored.

UK Banking Customers Against 2FA

A poll conducted by FICO has found that the majority of banking consumers in the UK, felt that there were already too many security checks involved in banking and cards payments and that adding additional security checks such as 2FA (two factor authentication) are not necessary.

The poll which covered 500 consumers from UK, Germany, Spain and Sweden, was conducted to gauge the attitudes towards the new PSD2 European banking regulations, which requires banks and payments services to enforce stronger authentication.

Consumers were concerned that these additional measures would bring more complexity to the process, it could be impacted by poor mobile coverage, while others would not trust banks with their mobile number.

Although 2FA is not fool proof, it does add another layer of security to the authentication process. Concerns over SMS based 2FA have been well covered in recent times, but although app based 2FA should always be the preferred option, it remains that SMS based 2FA is far better than simple user name and password authentication.

We at Ironshare have heard many arguments against 2FA and its added process and complexity, but we see this as simply another culture shift in the use of new technology. Typically, it only takes a few additional seconds to enter a 2FA code, and users tend to adapt quite quickly to its use which soon becomes second nature.

We recommend that you embrace the use of 2FA wherever possible, as it could be the difference in your fight against identity theft and financial fraud.


And that’s it for this week, please don’t forget to tune in for our next instalment.

Ironshare – Security Simplified

Edition #27 – 1st February 2019