In case you missed our coverage this week inThreatWatch, Nextgov’s regularly updated index of cyber breaches:

University of Virginia Hacked in Suspected Chinese Espionage Case

The data breach allegedly targeted the email accounts of two employees whose work is connected to China.

UVA on Aug. 14 disclosed the incident and shut down many of its IT systems at 5 p.m. that day for security upgrades

The school was tipped off by federal authorities months ago and subsequently June 11, detected “sophisticated attackers” from China illegally accessed portions of UVA’s IT systems, school officials said.

The university waited two months to announce the breach to “best protect against future attacks” by being “confident that notification would not jeopardize … efforts to secure systems,” officials said.

This weekend, the school is patching a flaw the hackers used to access the network.

FOIA Goof Exposes Illinois Prison Personnel Records

The Social Security numbers and other personal data of Illinois Department of Corrections employees were inadvertently included in a response to a Freedom of Information Act request.

The records also included names, ranks, salaries and job duties.

The department personnel work at the Lawrence and Dixon Correctional Centers.

Wannabe Cyber Gang Hacks University of Miami Librarians

A group claiming to be hacker organization “CyberVor’’ breached email accounts connected to the University of Miami.

A message from the Twitter account of @cybervor posted July 12 stated in Russian: “We are the Russian dragon of the Internet. You are next. Greetings, University of Miami. We are CyberVor. We have been watching you for many years.”

The tweet linked to a website displaying about 200 email addresses and usernames for the school’s library staff. Encrypted passwords were listed as well.

Investigators said it is possible unaffiliated third-party hackers cracked the passwords.

The hacker group’s true identity is uncertain. “CyberVor” is the name Alex Holden, a cybercrime expert, previously made up for a Russian cyber gang that built a database comprising 1.2 billion stolen usernames and passwords.

Regarding the Miami event, Holden said, “The Russian language that the UM hackers used in their message seemed to be translated with the help of Google Translate.”

2.4 Million Carphone Customers Potentially Hacked

Officials at Carphone Warehouse, a British mobile phone retailer, described the cyber assault as “sophisticated,” adding it was stopped “straight away” after the company itself discovered the attack.

The affected individuals might have had their names, addresses and dates of birth compromised.

Encrypted banking data of up to 90,000 of those customers may also have been accessed.

Hackers Dug Up Embargoed Press Releases to Game Wall Street

Rogue Wall Street traders allegedly handed overseas hackers a wish list of confidential corporate newswires to extract.

The group apparently placed trades based on the not-yet-public data, ultimately accruing $100 million in illicit proceeds.

Some of the Ukraine-based computer crackers would email instructions to U.S. traders about how to reach the pilfered releases from an offshore server.

“In an indictment against five of the men, federal prosecutors in New Jersey said the men broke into companies like Business Wire and PR Newswire over five years to steal more than 150,000 news releases posted by publicly traded corporations before the information was released to the public,” The New York Times summarizes.

The stolen news gave the fraudulent traders a leg up on others in the stock market by allowing the crooks to make exchanges before the releases hit the wires.

The men often communicated via email and online chat messages, openly writing what they were doing.

For example, one of the defendants wrote in Russian in an online chat message, “I’m hacking prnewswire.com.” In another online chat, a defendant said he had compromised the login credentials of 15 Business Wire employees.

Source: http://www.nextgov.com/cybersecurity/2015/08/hackers-read-tomorrows-news-today-spy-uva-employees-and-harass-librarians/119157/

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