This latest cyberattack shows no one is immune to data breaches

Another cyberattack hit the headlines recently when the confidential medical records of Olympic athletes were stolen and leaked by a Russian hacking group.

Proving once and for all that nothing is sacred, the personal medical details of athletes such as US gymnast Simone Biles, tennis stars Venus and Serena Williams and British cyclist Bradley Wiggins have been compromised.

Here’s a look at what happened:

The attackers

The attack was perpetrated on the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) by a Russian cyberhacking group known variously as Fancy Bear and Tsar Team.

In the light of WADA’s recommendation of a blanket ban on Russian athletes at this year’s Olympics, some believe the Russian government may have had a part to play in the attack.

“When the FSB and the Russian anti-doping organization had been called out as supporting the doping activities of Russian athletes, as soon as that started happening that became something that immediately drew the interest of the Russian Government,” says Vice-president of intelligence for US cybersecurity firm Crowdstrike, Adam Meyers.

How it happened

The group got access to WADA’s Anti-Doping Administration and Management System (ADAMS) by using a phishing technique to obtain login details.

Phishing is when an attacker assumes the identity of trustworthy individual and uses electronic communication to obtain sensitive data such as passwords or financial details.

In this case, the attack gained access to WADA’s Rio 2016 Olympic Games account containing the medical records of the competitors.

The fallout

The cyber hackers have released five rounds of records so far, with the details of 107 athletes in total, and are likely to release more. The information includes details of medical conditions and treatments as well as exemptions allowing the use of banned substances for therapeutic use. While the leaks are more embarrassing than dangerous they show no-one is safe from have their private lives and details made public.

Stop your data leaking

With so many organizations coming under attack, it’s vital businesses take every measure possible to protect against the threat of data breaches. Companies need to make sure they have regular security audits, safe systems and up to date security software.

Unfortunately though that’s not enough these days. Managers should also consider installing additional safety measures such as employee monitoring software.

Options such as KnowIT can be installed remotely onto all company devices. From there it can record exactly what software and websites each of your employees use as well as their communications.

Using KnowIT, you’ll quickly be able to see if there is any dangerous activity such as phishing messages or employees who are visiting potentially dangerous websites.

In addition, KnowIT can be set to alert managers whenever sensitive data is being copied or accessed so you’ll know as soon as there is any danger. To learn more about KnowIT click here.

Have you or anyone you know had their personal details leaked?

Let us know in the comments section below.

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