US Government Committee Concludes (Yet Again) That Encryption Backdoors Undesirable.

As the year draws to a close – and what a year! – we finally have some good, sensible news: the US government has found that “any measure that weakens encryption works against the national interest,” and so encryption backdoors are an untenable scenario. This should be the final and decisive nail to the coffin […] read more

UMass Amherst Settles HIPAA Violation for $650,000 and Corrective Action.

In 2003, the University of Massachusetts – Amherst (UMass Amherst) was embroiled in a health data security breach. A workstation computer was infected with malware, leading to a HIPAA violation involving patient data for 1,670 people. Skip to three years later, and UMass Amherst has settled legal actions related to the breach, brought by the […] read more

California Amends Data Breach Notification For Encrypted Data.

Beginning on January 1, 2017, organizations in California cannot automatically assume that personal details are safe if they were encrypted at the time of a data breach. This, in turn, means that businesses and other organizations will have to give some thought as to whether a data breach must be made public.   Encrypted Personal […] read more

Data Breach Reparations: Still Evolving, Consumers Begin To See Glimmers.

According to idtheftcenter.org, the US has seen over 858 data breaches that involved over 29 million records in 2016 (to be more specific, up until November 8). The list of breaches does not include those that go unreported, for obvious reasons, as well as those that weren’t vetted by credible sources like state Attorney General […] read more

Another Site Leaks Plaintext Passwords, Runs Afoul of COPPA.

The site arstechnica.com is reporting that i-Dressup not only experienced a data breach – over 2.2 million affected – but has been slow as molasses in responding to Ars’s emails that they have been hacked or, more importantly, fixing the vulnerability that lead to the security failure. Perhaps we shouldn’t be surprised, merely exasperated, that […] read more

Yet Another US Court Says FBI Hacking Is Unauthorized Search, Won’t Suppress Evidence.

Earlier in the year, the FBI revealed that they had taken over a site in the dark web and reeled in hundreds of suspects in a sting operation. Due to the nature of the site (a shadowy community where its content very heavily leaned towards, but not exclusively to, child porn) many people online voiced […] read more

Those NSA Tools Being Auctioned? One Should Blame USB Disks, Apparently.

We don’t hear anymore from the “old school” types of data breaches: lost or stolen laptops, computers that were stolen during a break-in, USB flashdrives that disappeared, etc. The last memorable case – now two years ago – involved a doctor who was tied to a tree by a couple of thugs and ordered to […] read more

Frequent Password Changes Not A Secure Data Security Practice.

According to the Federal Trade Commission’s Chief Technologist, forcing users to frequently change their password can be counterproductive when it comes to fighting data breaches. Mind you, it’s not the frequency itself that leads to security weaknesses. Rather, it’s what happens at the weakest link in most security systems — individual behavior — that leads […] read more