FixMeStick’s Weekly Cybersecurity Round-Up: Jan 20th – 26th

January is almost at an end, which means we’re well on our way to warmer days. In regards to cybersecurity, however, it seems we’re never truly in the clear – there’s always something to keep us on our toes. Whether it be credit card hackers, security vulnerabilities, or even hacking in the upcoming United States election, we’ve got you covered.

In recent days, Microsoft has had their customer support records leaked online, exposing over 250 million records of employee and customer interactions. If you’ve ever contacted Microsoft in the past 14 years, you may be among those affected. 

Microsoft admitted that the records had been exposed due to a faulty security code, effectively exposing hundreds of millions of records to the public. Although Microsoft has since redacted the information using automated tools that scan the records and remove any trace of personal information from the files. Emails, phone numbers, names, and any other sort of personal info has been wiped from the records since the leak went viral.

If you’d like to read more on the situation, you can follow up here.

If you’ve ever fallen victim to any sort of credit card fraud or hacking, this story might be of interest to you. 

On January 23rd, Russian hacker Aleksei Burkov pleaded guilty to multiple charges for running two illegal websites which gave cyber criminals access to hacked credit card information – allowing criminals access to over $20 million in stolen money.

The website, known as “Cardplanet”, hosted hundreds of thousands of compromised credit cards, mostly of U.S. origin. Burkov claims to have gotten most of the information through online scams and through the use of banking malware, which effectively swipes information from stores, online banking, and leaked databases.

Click here to find out more about the details surrounding the case.

In case you were ever worried about people hacking the US elections, have no fear! The FBI has finally announced that they will inform election officials when hackers try to infiltrate their system.

Although you’d imagine that the FBI should’ve already been on top of something so important, I suppose late is better than never. According to experts, the 2020 election will face more elaborate and sophisticated cyber attacks than the prior elections in 2016. While rumors of foreign interference has always been a hot topic regarding the elections, it comes as good news to hear that there will be some level of protection.

According to their new policy, the FBI state that:

“The FBI’s interactions regarding election security matters must respect both state and local authorities. Thus, the FBI’s new policy mandates the notification of a chief state election official and local election officials of cyber threats to local election infrastructure.”

While rumors and gossip will always circulate the processions of each election, voters can rest assured knowing that extra precautions are being taken.

In other news, January 28th is also Data Privacy Day! You can check out our tips and tricks for ensuring that you’re doing the most for keeping your data secure. Let us know what kind of measures you’re taking, and we’ll keep you updated with any cyber security events we think might be of interest. Cheers!