News & Analysis

April 27, 2015
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By Byron Acohido, ThirdCertainty

Made to measure: The next judicial frontier in security breach exposure may be from commercial claims. Although a few high-profile consumer cases have settled, there is no single national law on data-breach issues, and courts have been reluctant to impose liability. However, commercial liability disputes are now going to court, and nearly every commercial agreement has risk-allocation language in it, giving a judge a...

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April 24, 2015
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By Byron Acohido, ThirdCertainty

CHICAGO—Meaner than a junkyard dog: Junkyards have become a hunting ground for identity theft con artists, who are rummaging through junked vehicles for forgotten documents. “Identity thieves are treasure hunters for information,” said Danny Lents, who runs IDTheftAwareness.com, a protection tips site. “That W-2 … that’s the sweet spot,” he said. People who have their cars towed are urged to remove all paperwork from...

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April 23, 2015
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By Byron Acohido, ThirdCertainty

SAN FRANCISCO—Staying out of touch: At the RSA Conference, privacy officers of Microsoft, Google and Facebook said that the connectivity of home devices, wearables and more will complicate privacy and force tech providers to rethink how much control is transferred to the user. For example, Microsoft’s Brendon Lynch said because its Kinect technology brought facial recognition to gaming, the company’s privacy team “was...

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April 22, 2015
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By Byron Acohido, ThirdCertainty SAN FRANCISCO—A homeland in Silicon Valley: The RSA conference officially kicked off with a speech from Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson, who emphasized the importance of cyber security being a partnership between government and the private sector. He also announced plans for DHS to open an office in Silicon Valley. Johnson also said that encryption, while benefiting privacy, will add challenges to law enforcement, and asked attendees...

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April 21, 2015
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By Byron Acohido, ThirdCertaintySAN FRANCISCO

Do you know the way to RSA? San Francisco is welcoming more than 28,000 computer security experts to the RSA Conference, the world’s largest security gathering. Breach announcements are common at such events, and Check Point has released information showing that online auction site eBay’s Web e-commerce platform had a “critical vulnerability” that could affect up to 200,000 online shops. EBay has provided a patch to customers. Source:...

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April 20, 2015
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By Byron Acohido, ThirdCertainty SAN FRANCISCO

Questions, questions: As the field of cyber insurance grows, companies may need guidelines when seeking coverage. Look for a broker who can help you understand business interruption, legal liability, costs to investigate a data breach, notification of victims, defending/settling class-action lawsuits, and regulatory enforcement. Learn about policy exclusions and endorsements, and ask about retroactive...

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April 17, 2015
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By Byron Acohido, ThirdCertainty

Got a leak: Wikileaks has published a searchable database of every Sony Pictures email and document stolen by hackers last year. The United States blamed North Korea for the hack that destroyed computers, shut down the movie studio, and exposed executives’ emails. The files already existed online, but now they’re easy to find on Wikileaks.org. Source:...

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April 16, 2015
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By Byron Acohido, ThirdCertainty

Deal on Target: Target and MasterCard agreed to settle lawsuits over a 2013 data breach. Target set aside up to $19 million for banks and credit unions issuing MasterCards caught in the breach that compromised 40 million accounts from Nov. 27 through Dec. 15, 2013. MasterCard said the money will be available to banks and credit unions for operating costs and fraud-related losses. The settlement take effect if at least...

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April 15, 2015
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By Byron Acohido, ThirdCertainty

Passenger pilots? Planes could be hacked in flight by passengers using the aircraft’s wireless entertainment system to access flight controls, according to the Government Accountability Office. The issue is among a number of possible cyber security weaknesses that the Federal Aviation Administration must address as technology advances. “Internet connectivity in the cabin should be considered a direct link between the...

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April 14, 2015
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By Byron Acohido, ThirdCertainty

By the numbers. Derived from actual forensic cases, Verizon’s Data Breach Investigation Report is considered the gold standard of security metrics. The 11th annual DBIR, issued today, distills patterns from 79,790 security incidents, including 2,122 with confirmed data losses globally. The hardest hit sectors: Public, Technology/Information, and Finance. Some 75 percent of attacks spread from one victim to another within 24 hours, and...

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