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Security & Privacy Daily News Alert

Security & Privacy Daily News Alert
May 4, 2015

By Byron Acohido, ThirdCertainty

Better shred than read: The Federal Trade Commission advises consumers to shred any papers they don’t need for the long term. “Destroying documents with your personal information reduces the likelihood of becoming an identity theft victim,” said Lisa Weintraub Schifferle, with the Federal Trade Commission’s Division of Consumer and Business Education. Shred credit card or utility bills as soon as you pay them, as well as sales receipts, unless related to warranties, taxes or insurance. After a year, shred bank statements, pay stubs and medical bills, barring insurance issues. Source: CBS News

Wait, what? It’s about me! Victims of identity theft through fraudulent tax returns are finding that the IRS won’t reveal information about the scam due to privacy laws. New consumer-protection rules were supposed to make it easier for people to figure out what was stolen. But other IRS rules encourage workers to stay silent because they could face felony charges for giving out private details—including, possibly, those of the identity thieves. About 2.4 million taxpayers’ names or Social Security numbers appeared in falsified returns in 2013, according to the Treasury’s Inspector General for Tax Administration. Source: Bloomberg Business

Get ’em while they’re young: A program called GenCyber, funded by the National Science Foundation and National Security Agency, is setting up free classes to teach children about threats that can be found online, as well the basics of defense. “To be really cyber aware, or be ready for the next wave of the cybersecurity work force, a student … or new grad entering the work force really needs to be fundamentally strong in those principles and programming,” said Dakota State’s Josh Pauli, who will oversee a summer program in South Dakota. Source: ABC News

Storm at sea: A Department of Homeland Inspector General report on Coast Guard cyber threats found that insiders could exploit the USCG’s vulnerabilities. An audit found numerous issues involving thumb drives and removable media that could be connected to Coast Guard IT systems and used to remove sensitive data, as well as issues allowing sensitive information to be sent via email. The IG also found unlocked USCG network equipment and server rooms and unsecured wireless routers and laptops. Another threat comes from unpatched servers. Although Microsoft released a patch in April, spot checks at 50 maritime sites show that 37 percent of servers running Microsoft had not been patched. Source: Network World

Code blue: The names and internal account information for slightly more than 1,300 hospital and clinic patients in California’s Ventura County-run health system could have been leaked in a privacy breach, county officials said. The breach did not involve Social Security numbers, insurance information, birth dates, addresses or medical information, said Joan Araujo of the Ventura County Health Care Agency. Source: The Ventura County (Calif.) Star

Safe or sorry? Worldwide collaboration on cybersecurity is necessary, but arguments about whether security and privacy are at odds are hindering efforts, European Data Protection Supervisor Giovanni Buttarelli told the Cybersecurity & Privacy Innovation Forum 2015 in Brussels, Belgium. Better cybersecurity means better data processing, which leads to a higher degree of data protection. “With more … personal data being processed through information systems and networks, cybersecurity must not become an excuse for disproportionate processing of personal data.” Source: Fierce Government IT

Doubting Thomas: New insurance products meant to protect businesses from cyber attack-related losses are being met with skepticism in the United Kingdom, says a survey by KPMG International. Nearly three-quarters of IT professionals surveyed said their businesses had no cyber insurance. The most common reason for not buying a cyber-insurance policy was the belief that insurers would not pay out on a claim. Source: Canadian Underwriter

Tell all: The Senate Commerce Committee has written President Obama about concerns that a recent data breach on the White House computer system might have compromised the personal information of some citizens. “The White House has a responsibility to notify Americans if the recent, or any future breach, results in a compromise,” said Sen. John Thune (R-S.D), committee chairman. Source: Business Insider

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