Health care breach could damage child’s credit

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With the latest health care data breaches, your kids may be more vulnerable to identity theft than ever. Most children don’t have credit cards and other financial data to steal. But they do use the health care system, meaning their Social Security numbers could be vulnerable during a breach. One in 40 families with children under age 18 had at least one child whose personal information was compromised, according to a 2012 study by Javelin Strategy and Research. Michael Bruemmer, vice president of the data breach resolution group at Experian credit reporting bureau, expects that number to increase as health insurer breaches continue. With 25 to 35 percent of health insurers’ populations under age 18, thieves know that fraudulent activity using children’s Social Security and health insurance numbers may not be detected for years. “Sometimes, parents don’t realize there’s a problem until a child is applying for college loans or a first credit card,” Bruemmer says. “By then, they may have years of fraudulent credit problems to clean up.” Source: Bank Rate

Kind of a big ‘oops’

sh_geek squad_280A Florida woman claims a computer repair turned into an identity theft nightmare. Sura Alani needed her laptop fixed and turned to the Geek Squad at a local Best Buy. Ten weeks after she picked up her computer, a stranger called who knew her name, cellphone number and more. He had gone to the same Best Buy and bought a flash drive that had been discounted as an open-box item. Alani said the drive had “all my photos, all my documents, and everything that had been on my laptop,” including a copy of her passport, Social Security number and bank accounts. Alani found out a tech had backed up her data onto that drive during the repair. But the flash drive was not erased; then it was sold. Alani was lucky the stranger agreed to sell her the drive at cost. Best Buy said it’s not clear what happened, but it’s determined to make sure customers’ privacy is always protected, and it offered to pay for Alani’s ID theft protection. Source: WFTV, Orlando, Fla.

Cyber saber rattling

The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant threatened to carry out a cyber attack against the U.K., according to SITE Intel Group, which monitors jihadist social media. The group made its threat in a video posted on the Internet that opens with images of militants picking up long knives as they forced a group of Western hostages to march forward and kneel in the dirt. The video goes on to make the cyber-attack threat. The development came weeks after the U.K. carried out a drone attack in Syria to kill an Islamic State fighter of British nationality suspected of planning attacks on the U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron told Parliament he hadn’t sought lawmakers’ approval as the strike was ordered in self-defense. “We take cyber threat very seriously,” the U.K. government said. “We have taken action to defend our networks against increasingly sophisticated attacks and ensure that we have the necessary capabilities to defend our national interests in cyber space.” Source: The National Post

Jittery iPhone owners can take steps

sh_apps_280If you own an iPhone and are worried you might have apps that have been affected by the App Store hack, there are some steps you can take to safeguard data. “The No. 1 thing for iPhone users to do is make sure their apps are up to date,” said Ryan Olson, director of Palo Alto Networks’ threat intelligence research team. The large number of developers who worked on apps that were affected by the malicious code are going to be issuing updates, Olson said, so “the sooner you can get those installed, the better.” Be careful about entering information into dialogue boxes, because the hack can push fake alerts that ask for sensitive user data such as passwords. And if you suspect you have a problem, change your Apple account password. Source: Tech Insider

Coming to the forefront

Prompted by the OPM hack, the federal government is rethinking cybersecurity and how to apply it to digital operations. But IT chiefs, working to secure scores of agencies and departments with near limitless data, are faced with an abundance of challenges and opportunity. The OPM hack has “elevated cybersecurity to the forefront of the conversation right now,” said Carlos Segarra, chief information security officer for the Department of Housing and Urban Development. “To me, security in the government is nothing more than what quality was in manufacturing,” said Jim Quinn, Homeland Security lead system engineer for the Continuous Diagnostics and Mitigation program. “It is a necessary thing that you have to do in order to be successful in business.” Source: Federal Times

Plan of attack for an attack

sh_shield_280U.K. companies are being urged to protect themselves by following the government’s Cyber Essentials plan. Recent figures show that 74 percent of small businesses and 90 percent of large ones have had a cyber breach of some sort in the past year. “Good cybersecurity underpins the entire digital economy—we need it to keep our businesses, citizens and public services safe,” says Ed Vaizey, minister for the digital economy. “We want to make the U.K. the safest place in the world to do business online and Cyber Essentials is a great and simple way firms can protect themselves.” More than 1,000 businesses have adopted Cyber Essentials, a program to help shield businesses from the most common threats on the Internet. Source: Beta News

Just because you can do something doesn’t mean you should

Even though technological advancements had made it easier to violate end-user privacy, vendors must continue to protect their customers from unwanted intrusions, says Michelle Dennedy, Cisco’s new vice president and chief privacy officer. Privacy engineering is taking a new definition of privacy that does not mean secrecy or shame or hiding away,” Dennedy says. “It means the authorized processing of personally identifiable information according to fair principles.” Since data is an asset, people should be able to decide on their own what information they wish to share about themselves, and with whom, Dennedy said at the Business Innovation Factory 2015 Summit. Source: CRN

Print it, safely, with new software

sh_HP_280New software developed with the backing of the Department of Defense and Department of Homeland Security will help secure millions of new Hewlett-Packard printers, and soon could help protect the embedded computers found in everything from critical infrastructure to the human body. Targets for hackers are everywhere—office printers, telephones, machines controlling power plants, routers, auto electronics, medical equipment. Many of these embedded devices can link with other computers, so not only are they targets, they also could serve as back doors into other computers and networks. HP announced that three new HP LaserJet Enterprise printers coming out this fall would come equipped with software that can detect, report and defend against attacks targeting the devices. The company says it will deliver a firmware update enabling these capabilities on all Future Smart-enabled HP LaserJet Enterprise printers already operating in the field. Source: Popular Science

Hey, you’re my EX-husband, remember?

A woman says her cell phone was used against her to track her every move. The woman, who asked not to be identified, says her ex-husband used her cell phone to stalk her. “He had every text, every picture. He knew exactly where I was all the time,” said the alleged victim. Brett Dearman, a digital forensics specialist who investigated, believes the man was able to attach a small spyware application via email or text that she opened. Identity thieves looking for passwords or other personal information could hit the jackpot through such methods. “It captures text messages, emails, phone conversations. Anything you do on your phone, it can capture it and send it upstream,” Dearman of McCann Investigations said. Signs your phone is being tracked include being hot to the touch, losing battery power quickly and increased data usage. Source: KTRK, Houston

CIA digital spy unit to spread far and wide

sh_CIA_200On Oct. 1, the Central Intelligence Agency will add a directorate that will focus on all things cyber and digital espionage. CIA Deputy Director David Cohen said that once the new Directorate of Digital Innovation is up and running, “it will be at the center of the agency’s effort to inject digital solutions into every aspect of our work. It will be responsible for accelerating the integration of our digital and cyber capabilities across all our mission areas—human intelligence collection, all-source analysis, open source intelligence, and covert action.” Source: Network World