IRS Hacked, 101K PINs For Electronic Tax Filing Stolen (aka, What’s New?).

According to csoonline.com, the IRS had to block unknown persons or person who was downloading a massive trove of PINs used for electronic tax filing: The attack occurred in January and targeted an IRS Web application that taxpayers use to obtain their so-called Electronic Filing (E-file) PINs. The app requires taxpayer information such as name, […] read more

License Plate Scanners, Prostitution, and Big Data: Big Mistake.

You have nothing to fear if you have nothing to hide. These words or their variation are uttered a lot by people who try to justify some very questionable actions. For example: In a statement issued by her office Wednesday, [LA City Council Member Nury] Martinez said, “If you aren’t soliciting, you have no reason […] read more

What If Encryption Backdoors Backfire?.

In light of the recent Paris terrorist attacks, and the suspicion that encryption may have played a pivotal role in them, calls for backdoors to encryption are slowly resurfacing in the media. The suspicion that the terrorists used encrypted communications of some sort is strongly beginning to look like conjecture and nothing more. It’s not […] read more

Password Security: Ashley Madison Patrons Had Terrible Passwords.

Last week, motherboard.com reported that 4000 cracked passwords belonging to Ashley Madison customers were “awful,” security-wise.  The site went on to conclude that: It’s understandable for users to be frustrated with Ashley Madison for failing to protect their data. But when customers are choosing passwords that could probably just be guessed, they need to take […] read more

Encryption: Backdoors That “Work” Don’t Exist Because They Are A Fantasy.

Last week, FBI Director James Comey told senators that encryption was making it harder for the FBI to do its job. To back his words, he brought up examples of instances where the agency couldn’t access electronic information despite having the legal right to do so. And while you won’t find many denying that this […] read more

Connecticut Data Encryption: Senator To Propose Required Encryption For Insurance Companies.

It looks like Connecticut could be following in the footsteps of New Jersey: according to stamford.dailyvoice.com, state senators are considering proposing legislation that would require Insurance companies to encrypt any sensitive personal data.   If said proposal passes, it would become the second state I know of that makes it mandatory for insurance companies to use […] read more

Data Encryption: TD Bank Settles For $850,000 After 1.5-Yr Long Investigation Over Lost Data Tapes.

In 2012, TD Bank reported the loss of backup tapes.  With over 250,000 people affected, it was one of the top data breaches for that year.  The lack of data encryption on the tapes – plus the fact that this happened in Massachusetts, which is considered to have one of the most onerous data security […] read more