Week Ending: 22nd May - A Roundup in I.T. & Tech News

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In I.T. and tech news this week, cyberattacks and data breaches have been big news, dominating the cyberworld headlines and affecting every industry. It is important to remain extra vigilant in these unparalleled times, with cyberattacks on the rise and hackers using the current crisis as an opportunity to target not only companies and institutions, but individuals too. Catch up here on EasyJet’s hacking that’s affected millions of customers, the hijacking of supercomputers in Europe, and lastly, how the EU’s Parliament was hacked, leaking personal data.

Hackers target EasyJet successfully

A ‘highly sophisticated cyberattack’ has hit 9 million EasyJet customers, affecting travel details and email addresses, whilst 2,208 customers also had their credit card details stolen – including the CVV number. EasyJet became aware of the data breach in January, when the firm informed the UK’s Information Commissioner’s Office, even though it was only able to inform those who had their credit card details stolen in April.

EasyJet told BBC that: "This was a highly sophisticated attacker. It took time to understand the scope of the attack and to identify who had been impacted.

"We could only inform people once the investigation had progressed enough that we were able to identify whether any individuals have been affected, then who had been impacted and what information had been accessed."

Those who had their email addresses stolen have been warned to be cautious about phishing attacks. The airline also said that all those affected would be notified by May 26th at the latest.

The ICO, who are investigating, said: "People have a right to expect that organisations will handle their personal information securely and responsibly. When that doesn’t happen, we will investigate and take robust action where necessary.”

Supercomputers in Europe hijacked

A dozen supercomputers have shut down in Europe after cybercriminals tried to hack and take over them. The hackers reportedly attempted to use the computers to mine cryptocurrency. "A security exploitation" disabled access to the Archer supercomputer on 11th May, which is based at the University of Edinburgh. Staff at the University of Edinburgh said that they were working with the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) to restore the system, which had recently installed a pandemic modelling tool.

On 11th May, an attack also shut down five supercomputers in Germany, followed by Switzerland and Barcelona.

It is now believed that this is an attack across the academic community after the widespread hijacks have compromised numerous computers. They did it by exploiting a Secure Shell (SSH) connection, which academic researchers use to log in to the system remotely. Once compromised, the attackers appear to have installed cryptocurrency-mining malware.

Discover more here.

EU Parliament hit by a major cyberattack

The European Parliament has been the target of a major cyberattack that has left data of over one thousand members and staff exposed for cybercriminals online.

Indian cybersecurity company Shadowmap discovered the breach. This latest breach has arisen almost a decade after a large-scale data breach initiated by China. Shadowmap stated that it found details of passwords, job descriptions and other personal data online, the kind of information that would normally be accessed by an internet portal that is part of the Parliament’s domain and is used by its officials.

The compromised information also includes data on thousands of people with links to political parties and institutions, including members of EU agencies and authorities, such as law enforcement agency Europol, the European Data Protection Supervisor, border agency Frontex and others.

Read more about it here.

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