data protection

2012 predictions: online data brokers come under fire

In 2011 we saw an increase concern about, and scrutiny of, what exactly social networking sites do with the data you input, both internally as well as what gets shared with third parties. But in 2012 some of that scrutiny will shift to those third parties as more people ask: What are they doing with

Unencrypted credit card storage on the rise

More websites stored unencrypted credit card payment information than ever this year, according to a recent report. I thought we had this figured out? Obviously this is a direct violation of Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) requirements. But seriously, this stuff is simple for the developers to fix, so why don’t they?

CarrierIQ, keylogging and mobile payment systems

Recently we see allegations that CarrierIQ is quietly collecting more information than Android users bargained for. In one case, Trevor Eckhart thinks he proved that they register users’ keystrokes without the users’ knowledge for reasons subject to ongoing speculation. We certainly had no trouble finding the CarrierIQ software on an HTC phone, where it possessed

AVAR Hong Kong security conference 2011 – in 30 seconds

Well, okay, if you happen to be an extremely fast reader. The Association of Anti Virus Asia Researcher’s (AVAR) 14th AVAR Conference just wrapped up in Hong Kong on Friday. This year, the focus was on security issues in and around the emerging Asian security market, and how to rise to the challenge. As one

October: Facebook Facepalm, Feeling Safe Online, and a Small Tsunami

ESET’s Threat Reports for September and October include some quality articles on Facebook, safety online, and backup strategy.

Are Government/Schools responsible for your security – (or is it all up to you)?

Awhile back we posted findings of a Harris poll showing public perception of Internet security, with some interesting results. This time we take a look at whether respondents perceive the Government and/or their schools have an implicit responsibility, or whether it lands squarely on their shoulders in the end (or should). Both schools and government

Another Massachusetts Health Services breach – at least they HAVE to report it

We see yet another breach hitting the headlines from a Massachusetts Healthcare Service provider, Spectrum Health Services. It seems during a break-in a hard drive was stolen, which contained names, addresses, phone numbers, dates of birth, Social Security numbers, diagnostic codes and medical insurance numbers. It is interesting because, unlike other states, Massachusetts law requires

Hacked account? Many users don’t even notice

A recent report from Commtouch finds about one third of Gmail, Yahoo, Hotmail and Facebook users even noticed when they were hacked, and more than half found out later after friends alerted them. This lag time provides a wide open window for scammers to use social engineering techniques to target more valuable targets, and harvest

Facebook: over 800 pages of data stored on a single user

In Europe, a user can make a request to an online company for all personal data they may have stored about them. One user did just that, and found 880 PAGES of data stored about him by Facebook! Other users listed on the Europe vs. Facebook website had even more. They include the usual data

Which anonymizing VPN is really anonymous?

On the heels of the arrest of Cory Kretsinger, aka “Recursion”, for one of the Sony data breaches, following an FBI request for traffic records from his VPN provider, users wonder whether anonymizing service providers really are all that anonymous. Using a VPN to connect securely out of reach of prying eyes, is a common

Rig an election for around 25 bucks

Actually $26, according to a study conducted by Argonne National Laboratory in Illinois, which was able to hack a Diebold voting machine with “about $26 and an 8th-grade science education.” In light of the rapidly approaching 2012 U.S. Presidential Election, it seems there may be a need to give serious attention to securing our election

OnStar to still gather vehicle data after service expires

Unless you specifically cancel the 2-way communication aspect, the default setting will be to continue a communication link to OnStar once the subscription expires, raising the ire of customers who wonder what the company does with the data. OnStar says that data is anonymized, but customers fear data showing current vehicle location doesn’t seem very

Senate cybersecurity bill one step closer to law

This morning we recorded a podcast posing the question “can legislation solve cybercrime?” Well, The Senate Judiciary Committee seems eager to play a part, passing a measure yesterday attempting to thwart computer attacks. Measure S.1151 sets a national standard for data breach notification, replacing the various state initiatives already in place. It also makes concealing

2.1 million users’ data breached in Massachusetts

Since 2010 that is, following a law enacted in 2007 that requires all companies doing business in Massachusetts to inform consumers and state regulators about security breaches that might result in identity theft. Attorney General Martha Coakley’s office released the information, including a breakdown of the data. It seems her office received 1,166 data breach

Who’s responsible for your online data?

What happens after you share data online, and others re-share it, etc.? As data becomes increasingly inter-connected, with multiple parties touching the same data, Internet users are starting to wonder: who DOES have access to their data? Are they acting in your best interest? And who should be checking to make sure they do? The

Google your own health record?

Is that possible? Well, a researcher with Identity Finder, Aaron Titus, believes so, since he says he managed to use internet searches to unearth a trove of unsecured private health records on a website, around 300,000 of them. He notified the company, Southern California Medical-Legal Consultants, which represents doctors and hospitals seeking payment from patients

Data breach insurance: Is it worth it?

So you bought insurance against a data breach. With all the potential loopholes and variables, is it worth the cost for the coverage required to handle a real-world scenario? That’s a tender subject these days at Sony. In light of their recent breaches, soaring near an estimated $180 million, it seems their insurance provider, Zurich

Government: “Fix the internet” with .secure

In an effort to deal with the security woes of .com websites, the U.S. Government has a solution: build a new “internet” around .secure instead. The problem? Apparently, people have too much freedom on the .com’s, allowing cyber-dirtbags to skulk around anonymously. This would aim to cure all that by requiring “visitors to use certified

Osama bin Laden is alive and well… on Facebook

The death of Osama bin Laden has gone viral, with blogs, social media and search engines pumping terabytes of rumor, innuendo and conspiracy theories at the speed of light, along with the occasional kilobyte of truth.  As the number of people searching for pictures and videos of bin Laden’s execution has skyrocketed, the criminal syndicates

Debate Heating Up: Cybersecurity Act of 2010 S. 773

Forbes contributor Richard Stennion doesn’t like the Cybersecurity Act of 2010 very much. We know it around here as S. 773 and have been tracking it for some time. Mr. Stennion and I disagree on some key points. He says that S. 773: “…contains some pretty drastic measures that are going to be very disruptive,

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