2 min read

Ransomware attack foiled, but details of 540,000 sports referees still stolen by hackers

Graham CLULEY

September 22, 2020

Ad One product to protect all your devices, without slowing them down.
Free 90-day trial
Ransomware attack foiled, but details of 540,000 sports referees still stolen by hackers
  • Ransomware attack detected and blocked at ArbiterSports
  • But not before sensitive data was exfiltrated
  • Questions raised about how securely firm was storing passwords and social security numbers.

The details of approximately 540,000 sports referees, league officials and game officials have been stolen by hackers after an attack on ArbiterSports, a company owned by the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) to provide match scheduling and training software and services.

According to data breach notification letters sent out by ArbiterSports, some months ago it detected that its computer network had been breached, and that the hackers had attempted to encrypt data through a ransomware attack.

The ransomware attack was blocked. But in mid-July, while investigating the attack, ArbiterSports identified that the unauthorised third-party had also managed to access a backup copy of a database, containing:

  • account usernames and passwords
  • names
  • addresses
  • email addresses
  • dates of birth
  • Social Security Numbers

According to ArbiterSports the particularly sensitive password and Social Security Numbers data was “encrypted in the file”, but unfortunately they admitted that the attackers had been able to decrypt the data making that detail somewhat moot.

It was perhaps no surprise that despite not having managed to encrypt ArbiterSports’ data, the hackers still attempted to extort a ransom from the firm – offering to delete the stolen details if payment was made. It has not been revealed how much money the hackers attempted to extort out of ArbiterSports.

However, As ZDNet reports, we do know that ArbiterSports paid the hackers’ ransom demand and “obtained confirmation that the unauthorised party deleted the files.”

Of course, it’s hard to have absolute confidence – especially when dealing with criminals – that the data really was destroyed. It may be that ArbiterSports paid for nothing.

The organisation began mailing notification letters to affected individuals in August, offering victims access to one year’s complimentary credit monitoring and identity fraud protection services.

Because, as we all know, criminals will never ever exploit data that is more than 365 days old… </sarcasm>

One person who considers the fact that ArbiterSports got hacked as unforgivable is programmer Keith Mukai.

In a blog post he describes how he received a breach notification letter from the firm, claims that ArbiterSports was storing passwords insecurely, and calls on them to do more to pursue the criminals and show more transparency about the security breach.

tags


Author



Right now

Top posts

August Spam Debrief: Bitdefender Labs Warns of Fraud Campaigns Exploiting the Russia-Ukraine War

August Spam Debrief: Bitdefender Labs Warns of Fraud Campaigns Exploiting the Russia-Ukraine War

August 31, 2022

4 min read
Snake Keylogger Returns in Malspam Campaign Disguised as Business Portfolio from IT Vendor

Snake Keylogger Returns in Malspam Campaign Disguised as Business Portfolio from IT Vendor

August 30, 2022

2 min read
What is medical identity theft and how to protect against it

What is medical identity theft and how to protect against it

July 27, 2022

2 min read
Curious about Omegle? Here’s how the roulette-style chat platform can threaten your online privacy and security

Curious about Omegle? Here’s how the roulette-style chat platform can threaten your online privacy and security

July 07, 2022

5 min read
Identifying and Dealing with Online Bullying Is Not Impossible - School Presentation Inside

Identifying and Dealing with Online Bullying Is Not Impossible - School Presentation Inside

June 28, 2022

2 min read
Let’s Celebrate World Social Media Day by Improving Your Privacy and Security Online

Let’s Celebrate World Social Media Day by Improving Your Privacy and Security Online

June 28, 2022

3 min read

FOLLOW US ON

SOCIAL MEDIA


You might also like

Prison for ex-eBay staff who aggressively cyberstalked company's critics with Craigslist sex party ads and funeral wreaths Prison for ex-eBay staff who aggressively cyberstalked company's critics with Craigslist sex party ads and funeral wreaths
Graham CLULEY

September 30, 2022

2 min read
Honolulu Man Sabotaged Former Employer’s Network and Business Using Still-Active Credentials Honolulu Man Sabotaged Former Employer’s Network and Business Using Still-Active Credentials
Silviu STAHIE

September 30, 2022

1 min read
North Korean Gang Uses Compromised Open Source Software to Distribute Malware, Researchers Find North Korean Gang Uses Compromised Open Source Software to Distribute Malware, Researchers Find
Silviu STAHIE

September 30, 2022

1 min read