James Carder, chief security officer and vice-president, of security research, analytics, and threat intelligence outfit LogRhythm Labs, said: “NCL experienced a credential dump, and while on the one hand, we unfortunately see credential dumps occurring on practically a weekly basis, it does also mean that we are well aware of many best practices that Norwegian (and others) can implement to minimise further damage and prevent this from happening in the future.
“The first step — which Norwegian has already recommended — is for all of its agents to change their portal passwords, as well as any other passwords they’ve been using to access multiple applications.
“Right now, the biggest risk is what else the attackers are able to access with this credential dump, given that so many people still practice poor password hygiene and use the same password across multiple systems – whether they’re for business or personal use. So getting everyone to change their passwords is an easy way to prevent potential exposure of other sensitive data.”
Carder said he also recommended that Norwegian implemented multifactor authentication on the agency portal.
“This would mean that in the future, even if an attacker managed to steal more passwords, they wouldn’t automatically be able to access the system,” he said.
“They would also need to figure out a way to sidestep the secondary authentication factor, making it much more difficult to breach the system. And since hackers like easy targets, this might be enough to discourage them from further pursuit.
“Lastly, Norwegian should also ensure they implement monitoring and detection controls for their portal, systems, and applications — especially those that are Internet-accessible. This will make it easier to automatically identify suspicious activity and remediate potential threats quickly.”