6月27日,票务代理公司Ticketmaster UK披露有黑客窃取了公司存储的个人信息和支付数据。公司认为,恶意软件入侵了客户支持类产品,导致了数据泄露。然而,公布这一消息花费的时间可能比预期的要长,其实早在两个多月前,公司就得到了黑客入侵预警。




有时候无法即时检测到入侵行为,公众获得通知的时间也会滞后。Shape Security首席技术官Shuman Ghosemajumder表示,当全世界了解Equifax和雅虎公司发生大型数据泄露事件时,影响的用户账户数量高达30亿时,往往已经是数据被盗数月或数年之后了。黑客将盗取的信息用于高频次自动登录请求,即"凭证填充"。



会计师事务所毕马威和行业协会UK Finance 4月报告显示,"网络犯罪分子越来越了解金融系统和其潜在弱点。定向目标攻击的趋势令人担忧,犯罪分子越来越熟悉系统运行知识。"

不过幸运的是,有迹象表明防御攻击方面已有进展。UK Finance数据显示,过去一年,英国整体信用卡消费增长了7%,但是信用卡诈骗损失同比下降了8%,金额为5.66亿英镑(7.45亿美元)。犯罪分子每诈骗3英镑,银行和信用卡公司都设法阻止了其中的2英镑。


欧盟新出台《通用数据保护条例》(GDPR),可能会开始改变事态,因为条例要求各组织机构应当在发现黑客入侵的72小时内上报数据泄露情况。 但这些规定在实践中如何发挥作用仍有待观察。但是欧盟以外区域仍未出台此类法规,无法保证消费者在个人重要信息被窃取后及时得到通知。

A recent example is Ticketmaster UK, which disclosed on June 27 that personal information and payment data had likely been stolen by hackers. The ticket seller blamed malicious software that had penetrated a customer support product. However, the announcement may have taken longer than it could have: The company was warned of a likely intrusion more than two months earlier.

Monzo, a digital bank, says it detected suspicious activity stemming from some Ticketmaster customers’ accounts as far back as April 6. The London-based firm says it met with Ticketmaster to disclose its findings on April 12. A few days later, the ticket seller said its investigation hadn’t turned up anything, even though Monzo was still discovering compromised cards.

“When a bank or credit card provider alerts us to suspicious activity it is always investigated thoroughly with our acquiring bank, which processes card payments on our behalf,” a Ticketmaster spokesman said in an email. “In this case, there was an investigation, but there was no evidence that the issue originated with Ticketmaster.”

This kind of pattern is not unusual. Consumer credit company Equifax first disclosed its data breach on Sept. 7 2017, but says it discovered the unauthorized access on July 29. Personal data for about half of all Americans was compromised in that intrusion, which likely began in May 2017.

Sometimes intrusions aren’t detected immediately, and there can be a delay before the public is informed. When the world at large learns about big breaches like Equifax and Yahoo, which impacted a whopping 3 billion user accounts, it’s usually months or years after the data are stolen, said Shuman Ghosemajumder, chief technology officer at Shape Security. The information gleaned from these hacks is often used for “credential stuffing,” a type of cyber attack that uses purloined information for high-volume automated login requests.

Shape has observed high levels of credential stuffing even years before the large data breaches were made public, said Ghosemajumder, who previously served as “click-fraud czar” at Google. He said these surges were almost certainly linked to large breaches reported publicly much later.

Hackers are, of course, looking for money, whether that’s by taking over bank accounts or stealing credit card details. Cyber crime has a global impact worth more than $450 billion as criminal activities like fraud, blackmail, and extortion go digital. Financial firms are a key part of this struggle; banks, which spent $360 billion on IT costs in 2016, allocate three times as much as non-financial companies to cyber security.

“Cyber criminals are demonstrating a growing knowledge of our financial systems and the potential weaknesses,” according to an April report by accounting firm KPMG and UK Finance, an industry association. “There is a worrying trend towards more targeted attacks, with a growing knowledge of how these systems work.”

Fortunately, there are some signs that progress is being made in disrupting these attacks. In the UK, losses from payment card fraud fell 8% last year, to £566 million ($745 million), according to UK Finance (pdf), even as overall card spending increased 7%. Banks and card companies stopped £2 of every £3 in attempted fraud.

And though the Ticketmaster breach appears smaller than the massive intrusions at Yahoo and Equifax—the company says fewer than 5% of its global customers are affected—the delay in getting important information to consumers is similar. While the company is offering free identity monitoring for 12 months, experience suggests that this may already be too late to prevent most damage.

The EU’s new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) may start to change these dynamics, as organizations are required to report data breaches within 72 hours of finding out that they’ve been compromised. But how these rules will play out in practice remains to be seen. People outside of the EU, meanwhile, have fewer such regulations to ensure they’re informed when important information about them has been stolen.







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