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Data Security

The latest on data breaches and cybersecurity and data security by Adam K Levin.


  • What Hackers Want More Than Your Credit Card NumberData Security, Identity Theft

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    Account takeover fraud — which occurs when a cybercriminal gains unauthorized access to an online account — is growing rapidly, a new analysis by a major Canadian cybersecurity company shows. Vancouver, British Columbia-based NuData Security, which predicts and prevents online fraud, analyzed more than 15.7 million login interactions from May through June and identified 882,340 as high risk or potential account takeover attempts. “Account takeover is the new credit card fraud,” says Ryan Wilk, the […]

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    Life After Ashley Madison: How to Operate in a World Without SecretsData Security, Technology

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    The other cufflink fell on the Ashley Madison hack Tuesday. According to Wired, 9.7 gigabytes of Ashley Madison data were dumped on the dark web, and the collection appears to “include account details and log-ins for some 32 million users.” Where we go from here is anyone’s guess. According to the Wired article, the hackers left a note with the quarry of ill-gotten files of marital listlessness: “Avid Life Media has failed to take down […]

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    Ashley Madison Breach Marks the Rise of ‘Data Kidnapping’Data Security, Identity Theft

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    Some secrets are more valuable than others. And some secrets are more valuable TO others. In perhaps the most predictable extortion hack ever, cheating website Ashley Madison has confirmed to Brian Krebs that some of its data has been stolen. It now appears that tens of millions of people are at risk of being exposed. As you’ve already deduced, Ashley Madison users are not really all that worried about having the credit card numbers stolen and used for […]

  • The Real Question We Should Be Asking After the Massive Government HackColumn, Data Security, Blog

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    True or False? There was no way the Office of Personnel Management could have prevented hackers from stealing the sensitive personal information of 4.1 million federal employees, past and present. If you guessed “False,” you’d be wrong. If you guessed, “True,” you’d also be wrong. The correct response is: “Ask a different question.” Serious data breaches keep happening because there is no black-and-white answer to the data breach quagmire. So what should we be doing? […]

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    The Three Laws of Cyber Fraud in Today’s Online WorldData Security, Technology

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    One of the most popular sessions at the RSA Conference was the Cryptographers’ Panel, during which some of the founding fathers of modern cryptography discussed trends in research and cybersecurity in general. This year the panel consisted of Ron Rivest, Adi Shamir, Whit Diffie and Ed Georgio (former chief codemaker and chief codebreaker at NSA). During the session Shamir referred to his three laws of computer security, which he formulated many years ago: Absolutely secure systems do not exist. To halve your […]

  • Wetware: The Major Data Security Threat You’ve Never Heard OfColumn, Data Security, Blog

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    For the first time, according to a recent study, criminal and state-sponsored hacks have surpassed human error as the leading cause of health care data breaches, and it could be costing the industry as much as $6 billion. With an average organization cost of $2.1 million per breach, the results of the study give rise to a question: How do you define human error? More than half of the respondents in the Ponemon Institute’s Fifth […]

  • Cloud-based backups can leave taxes, other private data exposedFinancial Literacy, Data Security

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    It’s great that more folks are backing up their files using cloud-based services like Dropbox. While hackers and virus writers get all the headlines, I think hardware failure is really the biggest risk most consumers face. Cloud services have become such a part of the way we live, however, that we’ve gotten a little too casual about it.  That’s how tax returns end up lying around in public places for all to see. You’ve set […]

  • A year later, Heartbleed bug still hasn’t been squashedData Security, Technology

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    A recent report by cybersecurity management firm Venafi showing that a vast majority of the world’s largest companies remain vulnerable to attacks stemming from the Heartbleed flaw suggests that many have not grasped the full nature of the threat nor do they think the risk justifies the cost of remediating it. It’s been exactly one year since details of the OpenSSL flaw were first publicly disclosed. In the 12 months since then, numerous security researchers, […]

  • How This Federal Data Breach Law Could Actually Hurt ConsumersColumn, Data Security, Blog

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    With each passing brand name mega-breach—Home Depot, Target, JPMorgan Chase, Anthem—it becomes ever more urgent for government and industry to get on the same page about how to protect consumers. Sadly, not all laws are created equal, and there are few better examples of this homespun truth than a would-be federal law currently wending its way through Congress. And not to put too fine a point on it, the Data Security and Breach Notification Act […]

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    Healthcare, banking companies issue easily spoofed emailsData Security, health care

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    Emails purportedly sent by health insurance companies and large banks are more likely to be fraudulent than those claiming to be from social media companies, a new research study reveals. An email that appears to come from a health insurance company is four times more likely to be fraudulent—or two times more likely from a large U.S. bank—than an email ostensibly from a social media company like Facebook, according to Agari’s 2015 study. Agari, which […]

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