Skip to content

China suspected in hack of USIS

2014 November 8
by Todd Plesco

Up to 5 million employees and contractors who submitted background investigation information, and individuals who USIS logoreceived/renewed a DHS clearance, between July 2009 and May 2013, primarily for positions at DHS HQ, Customs and Border Protection (CBP), and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), may have had their personally identifiable [information such as applicants’ names, Social Security numbers (SSN), and date of birth (DOB) which was input into the electronic Standard Form 86 within the computerized program called e-QIP] exposed in a State Sponsored breach by China. 

Snowden pontificates then Dropbox claims 7M stolen passwords are hoax

2014 October 14
by Todd Plesco

Hackers, requesting bitcoin donations, claimed to have 7 million accounts from Dropbox servers.  Samples of approximately 700 victims were posted in plain text to Pastebin as four linked files along with a message:

Here is another batch of Hacked Dropbox accounts from the massive hack of 7,000,000 accounts
To see plenty more, just search on [redacted] for the term Dropbox hack.

More to come, keep showing your support

Dropbox's blog posting by Anton Mityagin on October 13, 2014, has since denied the breach stating that the login/password information is outdated and from a 3rd party:

Recent news articles claiming that Dropbox was hacked aren’t true. Your stuff is safe. The usernames and passwords referenced in these articles were stolen from unrelated services, not Dropbox. Attackers then used these stolen credentials to try to log in to sites across the internet, including Dropbox. We have measures in place to detect suspicious login activity and we automatically reset passwords when it happens.

Attacks like these are one of the reasons why we strongly encourage users not to reuse passwords across services. For an added layer of security, we always recommend enabling 2 step verification on your account.


Update: 10/14/2014 12:30am PT

A subsequent list of usernames and passwords has been posted online. We’ve checked and these are not associated with Dropbox accounts.

Users in Reddit have claimed that multiple credentials were working at the time of the Reddit site posting.

Ironically, shortly before the Reddit posting, Edward Snowden stated in a Google Hangout session with Jayne Mayer for the New Yorker Festival,

We’re talking about encryption, we’re talking about dropping programs that are hostile to privacy, for example Dropbox. Get rid of Dropbox. It doesn’t support encryption, it doesn’t protect your private files. And use competitors like SpiderOak that do the same exact service but they protect the content of what you’re sharing.

Same thing with companies like Facebook, companies like Google. They’ve made strides to increase the security of their programs and they’re getting better than they have been, but they’re still not safe. These are dangerous services.


Cedars-Sinai stolen laptop of 33,135 patients DOB, DL#’s MR#s, etc

2014 October 7
by Todd Plesco

On September 11th, a letter went out from Cedars-Sinai Medical informing patients that on June 23rd, 2014 an employee's home was burglarized.  A Cedars-Sinai issued laptop computer was stolen in the burglary; and, it included troubleshooting software for their clinical labratory reporting.  The employee reported the theft to both law enforcement and Cedars-Sinai on the same day the laptop went missing.  To date, the laptop has been missing and no arrests have been made.

Information on the laptop which affects the patients was potentially stored in temporary files on the hard drive.  Some of the data would have included names, health insurance and billing information, medical record numbers, dates of birth, and driver's license numbers.  Unfortunately, the laptop's hard drive was not encrypted – though, it was password protected.

The laptop also had remote access to the Cedars-Sinai network and that capability was immediately disabled. 

Initially, the assessment of the number of patient records impacted had been around 500 but just recently did a forensics firm adjusted this count to 33,136.