Tags: Coronavirus | Cybersecurity | Cyberterrorism | hacking | securitybreach

Massive Data Breach Hits World's Health Groups Battling COVID-19

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By    |   Wednesday, 22 April 2020 08:36 PM

A massive data breach, likely by neo-Nazi groups, has exposed 25,000 emails and passwords of officials of the National  Institutes of Health (NIH), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, among others.

Breitbart reported that the NIH was the hardest hit in the attack, with 9,938 email addresses and passwords posted on the internet, followed by the CDC with 6,857 addresses and passwords and the WHO with 2,732. In addition, the World Bank had 5,120 email addresses and passwords revealed, while the Gates Foundation and others had fewer, according to the SITE Intelligence Group, which monitors online extremism and cyberterrorism.

At first, there were questions raised about whether the information posted online was legitimate, but cybersecurity expert Robert Potter said he had verified that the WHO addresses were the real deal.

The one thing the hacked groups share in common is that they are groups fighting the coronavirus. SITE’s executive director, Rita Katz, explained to Breitbart that neo-Nazis and white supremacists were using the lists to share conspiracy theories about the virus and harass the hacked groups.

“The distribution of these alleged email credentials were just another part of a months-long initiative across the far right to weaponize the COVID-19 pandemic,” she said.

Potter, head of Australian firm Internet 2.0, said the information was easy pickings for the hackers.

“Their password security is appalling. Forty-eight people have ‘password’ as their password,” while others used their first names or “changeme,” he told The Washington Post. 

WHO chief information officer Bernardo Mariano said the group has been warned by Israel, the European Union, the United Kingdom, Interpol and Microsoft in recent days to expect attacks, Business Today reported.

WHO said in a statement that passwords for 457 users whose addresses were exposed have been changed. The NIH said in a statement, “We are always working to ensure optimal cyber safety and security for NIH and take appropriate action to address threats or concerns. We do not comment on specific cybersecurity matters, as such information could be used to undertake malicious activities.”

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A massive data breach, likely by neo-Nazi groups, has exposed 25,000 emails and passwords of officials of the National Institutes of Health, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention , the World Health Organization and the Bill & Melinda Gates...
Cyberterrorism, hacking, securitybreach
376
2020-36-22
Wednesday, 22 April 2020 08:36 PM
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