FixMeStick’s Weekly Cybersecurity Round-Up: May 5th – May 11th

Hey there everybody! We hope you’re all staying safe while enjoying the spring weather, and taking some extra time to stay on top of your cybersecurity!

This week we have news concerning data breaches, vaccine hacks, and a new viral COVID-19 video that seems to be spreading heaps of misinformation.

Recently a hacker group by the name of “Shiny Hunters” has been on the dark web advertising stolen data from a multitude of different companies, among them Microsoft’s GitHub.

The hackers have been offering sample data to support their claim, and have been selling millions of hacked accounts on the dark web. Online marketplace Minted has been breached by the hackers, with 5 million user accounts being offered for $2500. Other companies, such as gaming platform Styleshare and company Chatbooks have also been breached, with the threat actors offering millions of user accounts for sale.

Currently, the hacker group has allegedly stolen data from up to 11 different companies. The group has been consistently adding new data over the past week, and will likely continue updating their list as new data breaches occur.

If you’re worried that you may be at risk, the best thing to do is add some extra security to your accounts. Whether it be updating your password, or adding 2 factor authentication to your account, there are always ways to beef up your security

As countries across the world continue dealing with the current pandemic, many organizations are putting their heads together to come up with a vaccine. However, it doesn’t seem like everyone’s been playing by the same rules. Recently, reports have surfaced indicating the both Iranian and Chinese hackers have been trying to steal research related to the COVID-19 vaccine.

Gilead Sciences, the U.S drug maker whose drug remdesivir has shown promise in treating coronavirus cases, has been receiving numerous hacking attempts over the past few weeks, many of which were conducted using email and phishing scams. Reports claim that the hackers are linked to Iran, and are part of a hacking campaign to compromise email accounts.

Similarly, the US Federal Bureau of Investigation is planning to release a warning about potential Chinese hackers who have been targeting multiple databases and intellectual property concerning treatments and testing for COVID-19. Though the Chinese government firmly rejects the allegations, this incident would only add to the list of government-based hackers that have popped up since the start of the pandemic.

Curious? You can read up on the situation here.

If you’ve been browsing Facebook or YouTube over the past couple weeks, you may have stumbled across the COVID-19 conspiracy video entitled “Plandemic”. The 26 minute long video, featuring known anti-vaxxer Judy Mikovits, debuted on May 4th and garnered over 8 million views before being taken down for its spread of misinformation.

Since its release, the video has been taken down and reuploaded several times over a variety of websites. The main reason for its take down is due to the danger encompassing the video’s several claims which contradict the advice of medical experts, essentially promoting dangerous and unsanitary activity. The video suggests that the human immune system can be compromised by staying inside, and that face masks actually make individuals more sick than they already are.

Needless to say, much of the video’s content should be viewed with a critical eye, and either way there are many other better, more trusted sources to get your coronavirus news from. Since the start of the pandemic, there has been a noticeable increase in scammers, hacks, and the spread of misinformation. Now more than ever, it’s especially important to be aware of what you do and what you view online! Brush up on how to spot fake news here.

That’s all for this week folks! We hope you stay on top of all your cybersecurity problems, making sure that you’re protected against all viruses, COVID-19 or not.

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