US Appeals Court: Jail Time To Force Decryption Capped At 18 months.

The US Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit has declared that a person who refuses to hand over encrypted data cannot be held in jail for more than 18 months. The ruling sets free a certain Francis Rawls, who has been imprisoned for 4 years because he either wouldn’t or couldn’t decrypt two hard […] read more

Rethinking Encryption: Former Anti Strong-Encryption FBI Guy Changes His Mind.

A couple of weeks ago, Jim Baker published a long article on why the US needs strong encryption. One could call this position surprising, seeing how Baker was part of the FBI’s 2016 efforts to hamstring Apple’s iPhone encryption, a consequence of the San Bernardino terrorist incident. Baker does a good job of showing why […] read more

Laptop With Medical Info Missing From University of Hong Kong.

According to scmp.com, the University of Hong Kong has lost a laptop computer containing medical information on more than 3,600 people. Apparently, the laptop computer was not secured with full disk encryption software; and yet, 901 patients’ data was cryptographically protected independently. Police are currently investigating the situation. Massive Data Breach This latest episode has […] read more

Seattle University Alerts Over 2000 Faculty & Staff Of Lost Laptop.

Seattle University announced a couple of weeks ago that an unencrypted laptop was lost while an employee was “commuting on the bus.” An IT investigation drew the conclusion that “an offline email cache file” contained Social Security numbers and other personal information for 2,102 current and former faculty, staff, and dependents. The story feels like […] read more

UK’s National Cyber Security Centre Publishes List of Commonly Used Passwords.

A blast from the past, from the 1990s to the early noughts to be more specific, made the news this week, courtesy of the National Cyber Security Centre in the United Kingdom. According to an analysis by the government organization, blink182 is among the most commonly used passwords in the world. This means that it’s […] read more

Convicted Terrorist Steals Hard Drive in Brussels Main Justice Offices.

According to the Associated Press, a man who was convicted (and released from prison) for terrorist activities is suspected in the theft of an external hard drive from a forensic doctor’s office. The story is full of puzzling questions, including why the Belgian government is not doing an adequate job of securing their data. Motives […] read more

Leading Self-Encrypting Drives Compromised, Patched.

Earlier this week, security researchers revealed that certain SEDs (self-encrypting drives) sold by some of the leading brands in the consumer data storage industry had flaws in its full disk encryption.   Bad Implementation One of the easiest ways to protect one’s data is to use full disk encryption (FDE). As the name implies, FDE […] read more

Most of the Used Memory Cards Bought Online Are Not Properly Wiped.

According to tests carried out by researchers at the University of Hertfordshire (UK), nearly two-thirds of memory cards bought used from eBay, offline auctions, and second-hand shops were improperly wiped. That is, the researchers were able to access images or footage that were once saved to these electronic storage units… even if they were deleted. […] read more

Florida Government Hard Drives Stolen For Games.

Many, if not most, data security professionals will tell you that you should run a risk assessment and accordingly develop your plans for securing information, sensitive or otherwise. Then there are others who will counsel that one should secure as much as possible: obviously protect what represents a high risk situation, but never discount the […] read more

Fresno State Hard Drive Stolen, 15000 Affected.

At least 15,000 California State University, Fresno “student athletes, sports-camp attendees, and Athletic Corporation employees” were affected by a data breach earlier in the year, according to kmph.com and other news sites. A hard drive, 18 laptops, and other items were reported missing on January 12 from the university’s North Gym building. On the face […] read more