Dark Reading is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Attacks/Breaches

6/1/2015
05:30 PM
Connect Directly
Twitter
RSS
E-Mail
100%
0%

Woolworths' Self-Inflicted Breach A Clear Example Of Insider Negligence

Australian grocer sent master spreadsheet of customer information and redeemable codes for thousands of gift cards to hundreds of customers.

This weekend, an Australian grocery chain offered a textbook case study in why insider threats—even the non-malicious kind—are so important to address. Woolworths found itself in a pickle when it had to cancel over $1 million in gift cards when someone at the firm accidentally emailed an Excel spreadsheet with customer information and redeemable codes for close to 8,000 giftcards to over 1,000 customers, according to Australian-based Fairfax Media.

It's a clear reminder of how embarrassing and costly an accidental leak can be when it causes a breach.

“Woolworth reminds us that protecting yourself from human error is just as important as protecting yourself from hackers and malware," says Gord Boyce, CEO of FinalCode.

According to reports, the self-inflicted breach occurred on the heels of a Groupon sale of $100 and $200 gift cards at a small discount. When they bought the cards, customers were told they'd get an email from Woolworths that would have a PDF attachment containing an electronic voucher. Instead of the PDF, many customers were emailed a master list with information for over $1 million in vouchers.

Not only were customers' email addresses and names exposed by the breach, but the information made it possible for unauthorized people to fraudulently use others' gift cards, which ultimately caused the retailer to cancel all of them.

It's unclear yet what the ramifications will be for the grocer, but this even comes just a little over six months after the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC) released a formalized privacy policy. The OAIC privacy commissioner released a statement today saying it would look into the breach to see if the agency will need to look into the matter.

According to the Privacy Rights Clearinghouse reported that last year more than 113 incidents involved accidental leakages, involving more than 440,000 records. Meanwhile, the most recent Verizon Data Breach Investigation Report (DBIR), 90 percent of breach cases the firm investigated had some component of employee involvement.

This jibes with a remark made by FBI veteran Frank Abagnale in April at the SailPoint Navigate conference. The inspiration for Catch Me If You Can, Abagnale says that all of the breaches he's investigated involved an employee—typically non-malicious.

“There’s no master hacker," he said. "They’re waiting for doors to open because someone didn’t do something, or they did something they shouldn’t have.”

 

Ericka Chickowski specializes in coverage of information technology and business innovation. She has focused on information security for the better part of a decade and regularly writes about the security industry as a contributor to Dark Reading.  View Full Bio

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Threaded  |  Newest First  |  Oldest First
PeterMerkulov
50%
50%
PeterMerkulov,
User Rank: Author
6/3/2015 | 3:19:22 PM
Careless Routine is the Enemy of Security
Careless routine is the enemy of security. Incidents of this type will only increase as employees grow more used to—and blasé toward—the simple act of sharing information via email, social media and cloud applications. Either companies will enable their employees to work the way they want or the employees will continue to work around them and do it the way they know how.
Major Brazilian Bank Tests Homomorphic Encryption on Financial Data
Kelly Sheridan, Staff Editor, Dark Reading,  1/10/2020
Exploits Released for As-Yet Unpatched Critical Citrix Flaw
Jai Vijayan, Contributing Writer,  1/13/2020
Microsoft Patches Windows Vuln Discovered by the NSA
Kelly Sheridan, Staff Editor, Dark Reading,  1/14/2020
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon Contest
Write a Caption, Win a Starbucks Card! Click Here
Post a Comment
Current Issue
The Year in Security: 2019
This Tech Digest provides a wrap up and overview of the year's top cybersecurity news stories. It was a year of new twists on old threats, with fears of another WannaCry-type worm and of a possible botnet army of Wi-Fi routers. But 2019 also underscored the risk of firmware and trusted security tools harboring dangerous holes that cybercriminals and nation-state hackers could readily abuse. Read more.
Flash Poll
[Just Released] How Enterprises are Attacking the Cybersecurity Problem
[Just Released] How Enterprises are Attacking the Cybersecurity Problem
Organizations have invested in a sweeping array of security technologies to address challenges associated with the growing number of cybersecurity attacks. However, the complexity involved in managing these technologies is emerging as a major problem. Read this report to find out what your peers biggest security challenges are and the technologies they are using to address them.
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2019-3686
PUBLISHED: 2020-01-17
openQA before commit c172e8883d8f32fced5e02f9b6faaacc913df27b was vulnerable to XSS in the distri and version parameter. This was reported through the bug bounty program of Offensive Security
CVE-2019-3683
PUBLISHED: 2020-01-17
The keystone-json-assignment package in SUSE Openstack Cloud 8 before commit d7888c75505465490250c00cc0ef4bb1af662f9f every user listed in the /etc/keystone/user-project-map.json was assigned full "member" role access to every project. This allowed these users to access, modify, create and...
CVE-2019-3682
PUBLISHED: 2020-01-17
The docker-kubic package in SUSE CaaS Platform 3.0 before 17.09.1_ce-7.6.1 provided access to an insecure API locally on the Kubernetes master node.
CVE-2019-17361
PUBLISHED: 2020-01-17
In SaltStack Salt through 2019.2.0, the salt-api NEST API with the ssh client enabled is vulnerable to command injection. This allows an unauthenticated attacker with network access to the API endpoint to execute arbitrary code on the salt-api host.
CVE-2019-19142
PUBLISHED: 2020-01-17
Intelbras WRN240 devices do not require authentication to replace the firmware via a POST request to the incoming/Firmware.cfg URI.