All posts tagged Data Breach

Game of Risks: An Interview with Adam Levin on the HBO Breach, Cybersecurity Insurance, and Cyber Risks

Daniel Solove
Founder of TeachPrivacy

 

Recently, HBO suffered a massive data breach. The hackers stole unreleased episodes of Game of Thrones and have been leaking them before they are broadcast. Episodes of other shows were also stolen. The hackers grabbed 1.5 terabytes of data including sensitive internal documents.

 

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When Do Data Breaches Cause Harm?

Daniel Solove
Founder of TeachPrivacy

 

Harm has become the key issue in data breach cases. During the past 20 years, there have been hundreds of lawsuits over data breaches. In many cases, the plaintiffs have evidence to establish that reasonable care wasn’t used to protect their data. But the cases have often been dismissed because courts conclude that the plaintiffs have not suffered harm as a result of the breach. Some courts are beginning to recognize harm, leading to significant inconsistency and uncertainty in this body of law.

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New Security Training Program: Social Engineering: Spies and Sabotage

Daniel Solove
Founder of TeachPrivacy

Module Data Security Spies and Sabotage 02

I am pleased to announce the launch of our new training program, Social Engineering: Spies and Sabotage. This course is a short module (~7 minutes long) that provides a general introduction to social engineering.

After discussing several types of social engineering (phishing, baiting, pretexting, and tailgaiting), the course provides advice for avoiding these tricks and scams. Key points are applied and reinforced with 4 scenario quiz questions.

Social Engineering Training Spies 01

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The High Cost of Phishing and the ROI of Phishing Training

Daniel Solove
Founder of TeachPrivacy

Phishing Training 01

A study recently revealed that nearly 25% of data breaches involve phishing, and it is the second most frequent data security threat companies face.  Phishing is an enormous problem, and it is getting worse.

Phishing threats -- Verizon report 2015 threats

In a staggering statistic, on average, a company with 10,000 employees will spend $3.7 million per year handling phishing attacks.

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The FTC Has the Authority to Enforce Data Security: FTC v. Wyndham Worldwide Corp.

Daniel Solove
Founder of TeachPrivacy

FTC 01by Daniel J. Solove

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 3rd Circuit just affirmed the district court decision in FTC v. Wyndham Worldwide Corp., No. 14-3514 (3rd. Cir. Aug. 24, 2015).  The case involves a challenge by Wyndham to an Federal Trade Commission (FTC) enforcement action emerging out of data breaches at the Wyndham.

Background

Since the mid-1990s, the FTC has been enforcing Section 5 of the FTC Act, 15 U.S.C. § 45, in instances involving privacy and data security.  Section 5 prohibits “unfair or deceptive acts or practices in or affecting commerce.”  Deception and unfairness are two independent bases for FTC enforcement.  During the past 15-20 years, the FTC has brought about 180 enforcement actions, the vast majority of which have settled.  Wyndham was one of the exceptions; instead of settling, it challenged the FTC’s authority to enforce to protect data security as an unfair trade practice.

Among the arguments made by Wyndham, three are most worth focusing on:

FTC PNG 02a(1) Because Congress enacted data security laws to regulate specific industries, Congress didn’t intend for the FTC to be able to regulate data security under the FTC Act.

(2) The FTC is not providing fair notice about the security practices it deems as “unfair” because it is enforcing on a case-by-case basis rather than promulgating a set of specific practices it deems as unfair.

(3) The FTC failed to establish “substantial injury to consumers” as required to enforce for unfairness.

The district court rejected all three of these arguments, and so did the 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals.  Here is a very brief overview of the 3rd Circuit’s reasoning.

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OPM Data Breach Fallout, Fingerprints, and Other Privacy + Security Updates

Daniel Solove
Founder of TeachPrivacy

OPM Fallout

By Daniel J. Solove

Co-authored by Professor Paul Schwartz

This post is part of a post series where we round up some of the interesting news and resources we’re finding. For a PDF version of this post, and for archived issues of previous posts, click here. We cover health issues in a separate post.

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News

Mayer Brown survey of executives: 25% of organizations lack both a CPO and CIO (March 2015)

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Security Experts Critique Government Backdoor Access to Encrypted Data

Daniel Solove
Founder of TeachPrivacy

Data Ballby Daniel J. Solove

In a recent report, MIT security experts critiqued calls by government law enforcement for backdoor access to encrypted information.  As the experts aptly stated:

“Political and law enforcement leaders in the United States and the United Kingdom have called for Internet systems to be redesigned to ensure government access to information — even encrypted information. They argue that the growing use of encryption will neutralize their investigative capabilities. They propose that data storage and communications systems must be designed for exceptional access by law enforcement agencies. These proposals are unworkable in practice, raise enormous legal and ethical questions, and would undo progress on security at a time when Internet vulnerabilities are causing extreme economic harm.”

The report is called Keys Under Doormats: Mandating Insecurity by Requiring Government Access to all Data and Communications and is by Harold Abelson, Ross Anderson, Steven M. Bellovin, Josh Benaloh, Matt Blaze, Whitfield Diffie, John Gilmore, Matthew Green, Susan Landau, Peter G. Neumann, Ronald L. Rivest, Jeffrey I. Schiller, Bruce Schneier, Michael Specter, and Daniel J. Weitzner.

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Mr. Robot: My Review of the New TV Series

Daniel Solove
Founder of TeachPrivacy

Mr Robot 01by Daniel J. Solove

I’ve really been enjoying the new TV series Mr. Robot on USA. Network.  It presents highly-engaging depictions of hacking and social engineering, and it is great entertainment for privacy and security  geeks.

Mr Robot 05aThe protagonist is Elliot Alderson (played by Rami Malek), a tech who works at a cybersecurity firm in New York City.  The show is narrated with voiceover by Elliot, and we get a glimpse into the mind of this reclusive and quiet person.  Voiceover can often falter as a technique, but here it works wonderfully — and all the more impressive because Elliot speaks softly, often in monotone.  But Elliot is such a fascinating character and Malek delivers Elliot’s monologue so effectively, that it becomes surprisingly engaging.

Elliot is very smart and clever, and he sees many around him as idiots.  He suffers from severe bouts of depression, is a recluse who wants to be invisible, and he is very awkward around other people.  He lives most of his life inside his head.  The show presents the stark contrast between what he says to others and what he is thinking.  In one scene, we see him speaking to his psychiatrist, telling her hardly anything.  But we hear his thoughts and know that he is pondering quite a lot.
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The OPM Data Breach: Harm Without End?

Daniel Solove
Founder of TeachPrivacy

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By Daniel J. Solove

The recent breach of the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) network involved personal data on millions of federal employees, including data related to background checks. OPM is now offering 18 months of free credit monitoring and identity theft insurance to victims. But as experts note in a recent Washington Post article, this is not nearly enough:

If the data is in the hands of traditional cyber criminals, the 18-month window of protection may not be enough to protect workers from harm down the line. “The data is sold off, and it could be a while before it’s used,” said Michael Sussmann, a partner in the privacy and data security practice at law firm Perkins Coie. “There’s often a very big delay before having a loss.”

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Boards of Directors Must Grapple with Privacy and Cybersecurity

Daniel Solove
Founder of TeachPrivacy

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By Daniel J. Solove

Privacy and cybersecurity have become issues that should be addressed at the board level. No longer minor risks, privacy and cybersecurity have become existential issues. The costs and reputational harm of privacy and security incidents can be devastating.

Yet not enough boards are adequately engaged with these issues. According to a survey last year, 58% of members of boards of directors believed that they should be actively involved in cyber security. But only 14% of them stated that they were actively involved.

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Chart of the Largest Data Breaches in the World

Daniel Solove
Founder of TeachPrivacy

by Daniel J. Solove

Over at the website, Information Is Beautiful, is this amazing chart of the biggest data breaches in the world

Who knew data breaches could be so beautiful?  For those who have suffered from their data being lost in a data breach to those who have suffered because they had to clean up after a data breach, there is a larger meaning to all your pain — it was for art!

This chart is so cool that it would almost be worth all the pain.

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Big Data, Big Data Breaches, Big Fines and Other Privacy + Security Updates

Daniel Solove
Founder of TeachPrivacy

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By Daniel J. Solove
Co-authored by Professor Paul Schwartz

This post is part of a post series where we round up some of the interesting news and resources we’re finding. This post includes developments from the first part of 2015. For a PDF version of this post, and for archived issues of previous posts, click here.

NOTE: Health privacy and security issues will now be covered in a separate update post. 

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If the Empire in Star Wars Had Big Data

Daniel Solove
Founder of TeachPrivacy

Star Wars Privacy and Security Awareness Darth Vader

. . . the Empire would have won. A search of records would have revealed where Luke Skywalker was living on Tatooine.  A more efficient collection and aggregation of Jawa records would have located the droids immediately.  Simple data analysis would have revealed that Ben Kenobi was really Obi Wan Kenobi. A search of birth records would have revealed that Princess Leia was Luke’s sister. Had the Empire had anything like the NSA, it would have had all the data it needed, and it could have swept up the droids and everyone else, and that would have been that.

There is an important lesson to be learned from Star Wars: If you are trying to establish and maintain a ruthless Empire, you can greatly benefit from better data aggregation and analysis.

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Law Firm Cyber Security and Privacy Risks

Daniel Solove
Founder of TeachPrivacy

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By Daniel J. Solove

Law firms are facing grave privacy and security risks. Although a number of firms are taking steps to address these risks, the industry as a whole needs to grasp the severity of the risk. For firms, privacy and security risks can be significantly higher than for other organizations. Incidents can be catastrophic. On a scale of 1 to 10, the risks law firms are facing are an 11.

This is not time for firms to keep calm and carry on. The proper response is to freak out.

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The Worst Password Ever Created

Daniel Solove
Founder of TeachPrivacy

worst password ever created

by Daniel J. Solove

People create some very bad passwords. In the list of the most popular passwords of 2014, all of them are terrible. Just look at the top 10:

  1. 123456
  2. password
  3. 12345
  4. 12345678
  5. Qwerty
  6. 123456789
  7. 1234
  8. baseball
  9. dragon
  10. football

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The Sony Data Breach: 3 Painful Lessons

Daniel Solove
Founder of TeachPrivacy

 

sony blog 1

by Daniel J. Solove

The Sony data breach is an exclamation mark on a year that is already known as the” Year of the Data Breach.” This data breach is the kind that makes even the least squeamish avert their eyes and wince. There are at least three things that this breach can teach us:

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Privacy and Security Developments 2014 Issue 1

Daniel Solove
Founder of TeachPrivacy

privacy and security update

by Daniel J. Solove

Issue 2014 No. 1

This post is co-authored with Professor Paul M. Schwartz.

We spend a lot of time staying up to date so we can update our casebooks and reference books, so we thought we would share with you some of the interesting news and resources we’re finding. We plan to post a series of posts like this one throughout the year.

For a PDF version of this post, click here.

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The Best Preventative Medicine for Health Data Breaches

Daniel Solove
Founder of TeachPrivacy

data breach 1

by Daniel J. Solove

Last week, I gave a keynote address at a conference called Safeguarding Health Information: Building Assurance through HIPAA Security, sponsored by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Office for Civil Rights (OCR). I’d like to summarize my remarks here for anyone interested who wasn’t able to attend.

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Why Do Lawsuits for Data Breaches Continue Even Though the Law Is Against Plaintiffs?

Daniel Solove
Founder of TeachPrivacy

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by Daniel J. Solove

If there’s a big data breach, the class action lawyers will start nipping like a bunch of hungry crocodiles. Upwards of forty separate lawsuits were filed against Target after its data breach, and one was filed the day after the breach became public knowledge.

The law, however, has thus far been far from kind to plaintiffs in data breaches. Most courts dismiss claims for lack of harm. I have written extensively about harm in a series of posts on this blog, and I have chided courts for failing to recognize harm when they should.

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10 Biggest Data Breaches: Facts and Lessons

Daniel Solove
Founder of TeachPrivacy

 

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by Daniel J. Solove

Recently, hackers from China stole 4.5 million records of patients from a hospital chain in Tennessee. Do you think that’s big? As a Bloomberg article notes, however,” they haven’t come close to entering the ranks of the biggest breaches of all time. In fact, they haven’t even cracked the top 10.”

Bloomberg has a terrific infographic about the top 10 largest data breaches in the United States.

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The 2 Essential Ways to Prevent Data Breaches

Daniel Solove
Founder of TeachPrivacy

data breach post 1

by Daniel J. Solove

We’re in the midst of a crisis in data protection. Billions of passwords stolen. . . Mammoth data breaches. . . Increasing threats. . . Malicious hackers . . . Continue Reading

4 Points About the Target Breach and Data Security

Daniel Solove
Founder of TeachPrivacy

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by Daniel J. Solove

There seems to be a surge in data security attacks lately. First came news of the Target attack. Then Neiman Marcus. Then the U.S Courts. Then Michael’s. Here are four points to consider about data security:

1. Beware of fraudsters engaging in post-breach fraud.

After the Target breach, fraudsters sent out fake emails purporting to be from Target about the breach and trying to trick people into providing personal data. It can be hard to distinguish the real email from an organization having a data breach from a fake one by fraudsters. People are more likely to fall prey to a phishing scheme because they are anxious and want to take steps to protect themselves. Post-breach trickery is now a growing technique of fraudsters, and people must be educated about it and be on guard.

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