This week, physical security for the Republican National Convention was all over the news, but behind the scenes in Cleveland cybersecurity experts were working to prevent digital attacks. Other news this week included the use of electronic voting machines without paper trails, the shut down of Kickass Torrents, cracking down on tech support scams, data breaches of online games Warframe and Clash of Kings, and a major Pokemon Go outage.
Cybersecurity Gets Political
Large gatherings of people always draw hackers’ attention. Political conventions are a security nightmare, and cybersecurity is no exception. The Republican Convention deployed a special cyber command for the convention in Cleveland, dedicated to spotting attacks early on and preventing any downtime. Cybersecurity consultants are already looking to November in anticipation of threats to the integrity of e-voting machines in the US presidential election.
Inside the Republican National Convention’s Anti-Hacker Squad | Robert Hackett, Fortune
Hackable Election? 5 Things to Know About E-voting | Grant Gross, Computerworld
The Long Arm of the Law
Law enforcement has found it challenging to catch the perpetrators of cybercrime. This week, authorities cracked down on several illegal ventures. Polish law enforcement caught the owner of content sharing site KickassTorrents and shut down the service. The action may resemble a finger in the dam situation, as dozens of similar sites are still alive and well. In the US, federal authorities finally caught the perpetrators of a tech support scam, but not before criminals raked in millions of dollars. A single fraudulent business reported $5.5 million in revenue for a 17-month period.
Alleged Owner of World’s Most Visited BitTorrent Site Arrested | Robert Abel, SC Magazine
Feds Shut Down Tech Support Scammers, Freeze Assets | Gregg Keizer, Computerworld
Bad week for gaming companies
Gaming companies continue to attract cyber attacks from hackers intent on stealing their vast stores of user data. This week, both Digital Extremes and Clash of Kings reported data breaches of 775,749 and 1.6 million user records, respectively. The company OurMine has already earned notoriety for hacking the Twitter accounts of prominent CEOs. Now they have taken responsibility for an outage of Pokemon Go. OurMine attacks individuals and companies as advertisement for its “security consulting” services, and this denial of service attack appears to be their latest business pitch.
Companies Behind Warframe, Clash of Kings Games Suffer Data Breaches | Catalin Cimpanu, Softpedia
Hackers Say They Were Behind Pokemon Go’s Weekend Outages | David Meyer, Fortune
By the Numbers
The number of Cicis Pizza branches affected by a payment card data breach
The number of WordPress vulnerabilities patched during a recent 21-day campaign
A single malicious Microsoft Word file can take control of an entire system