Girl Scout badge in cybersecurity on the horizon

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Girl Scouts can start earn­ing cyber­se­cu­ri­ty badges next year, thanks to an effort by the Girl Scouts of Amer­i­ca and cyber­se­cu­ri­ty firm Palo Alto Net­works. “We sur­veyed a lot of girls,” Girl Scouts CEO Sylvia Aceve­do said. “In those eval­u­a­tions, girls repeat­ed­ly said they want­ed more com­put­er sci­ence, and they were real­ly inter­est­ed in cyber­se­cu­ri­ty in terms of pro­tect­ing them­selves online. Bul­ly­ing is a big issue. Also fig­ur­ing out hackathons, they want­ed to do that as well.” The badges will be avail­able in fall 2018. There will be 18 unique badges, for Scouts from the Daisy lev­el (who can be as young as 5 years old) all the way up to Ambas­sadors (18 years old). The suite of cyber­se­cu­ri­ty badges are intend­ed to teach girls how to stay safe online and to encour­age them to take jobs in the cyber­se­cu­ri­ty indus­try, where women are under­rep­re­sent­ed. The Girl Scouts have been rolling out new badges for a num­ber of STEM fields in response to high demand from girls in the pro­gram. Source: Giz­mo­do

Data breach losses on the decline worldwide, but not in the U.S.

Finan­cial loss­es from data breach­es may be start­ing to drop: The aver­age cost of a data breach world­wide is now $3.62 mil­lion, down 10 per­cent from last year, accord­ing to a study from IBM Secu­ri­ty and the Ponemon Insti­tute. This marks the first decline mea­sured since the glob­al study was insti­tut­ed. Data breach­es cost com­pa­nies an aver­age of $141 per lost or stolen record, the report found. In the Unit­ed States, the aver­age cost of a breach increased 5 per­cent this year, to $7.35 mil­lion. Source: Tech Repub­lic

Contractor for Republicans exposed 200 million voters’ information

Data ana­lyt­ics con­trac­tor Deep Root Ana­lyt­ics, which was employed by the Repub­li­can Nation­al Com­mit­tee, left data­bas­es con­tain­ing infor­ma­tion on near­ly 200 mil­lion poten­tial vot­ers exposed to the inter­net with­out secu­ri­ty, allow­ing any­one who knew where to look to down­load it with­out a pass­word. The data­bas­es were part of 25 ter­abytes of files in an Ama­zon cloud account that could be browsed with­out log­ging in. The account was dis­cov­ered by researcher Chris Vick­ery of secu­ri­ty firm UpGuard. Source: The Hill

Democrats didn’t seek help from Homeland Security in election hack

For­mer Home­land Secu­ri­ty Sec­re­tary Jeh John­son said the Demo­c­ra­t­ic Nation­al Com­mit­tee “did not feel it need­ed” the assis­tance of the Depart­ment of Home­land Secu­ri­ty fol­low­ing last year’s elec­tion hack, which U.S. offi­cials have since attrib­uted to Rus­sia. Johnson’s tes­ti­mo­ny is part of the House Intel­li­gence panel’s inves­ti­ga­tion into Russ­ian med­dling in the pres­i­den­tial elec­tion, which is look­ing into pos­si­ble col­lu­sion between Moscow and the Trump cam­paign. Source: Politi­co

California law would make internet service providers ask before selling customer data

A pro­posed law in Cal­i­for­nia would require inter­net ser­vice providers to obtain cus­tomers’ per­mis­sion before they use, share or sell the cus­tomers’ web brows­ing his­to­ry. The Cal­i­for­nia Broad­band Inter­net Pri­va­cy Act is very sim­i­lar to an Oba­ma-era pri­va­cy rule that was sched­uled to take effect across the nation until Pres­i­dent Trump and the Repub­li­can-con­trolled Con­gress elim­i­nat­ed it. Source: Ars Tech­ni­ca

CIA hacking routers to use them to listen to others, WikiLeaks says

Leaked CIA doc­u­ments revealed the agency has been hack­ing people’s Wi-Fi routers and using them as covert lis­ten­ing points. Infect­ed routers are used to spy on the activ­i­ty of inter­net-con­nect­ed devices, accord­ing to decade-old secret doc­u­ments leaked by Wik­iLeaks. Home routers from 10 U.S. man­u­fac­tur­ers, includ­ing Linksys, DLink, and Belkin, have been used by the CIA to mon­i­tor inter­net traf­fic. Source: The Dai­ly Mail

Hospital patients’ records found abandoned on a back road 

Saint Thomas Ruther­ford Hos­pi­tal in Murfrees­boro, Tenn., has noti­fied more than 2,800 patients of a health infor­ma­tion breach. An inves­ti­ga­tion revealed hos­pi­tal doc­u­ments, which did not con­tain Social Secu­ri­ty num­bers or patient med­ical records, were found along a rur­al road in DeKalb Coun­ty. The doc­u­ments con­tained the patient’s name, date of birth, admit­ting diag­no­sis, account num­ber and doctor’s name. Source: WKRN, Nashville

Minnesota database published in apparent protest

A Min­neso­ta state gov­ern­ment data­base was stolen and pub­lished online in an appar­ent protest of the acquit­tal of St. Antho­ny offi­cer Jeron­i­mo Yanez for fatal­ly shoot­ing motorist Phi­lan­do Castile last sum­mer. The news of the attack was first report­ed by Moth­er­board, which was con­tact­ed by the hack­er. The state IT agency con­firmed the attack. Source:

Walmart says rumors of hack are just rumors, not true

Wal­mart says its company’s sys­tem has not been hacked, despite rumors on social media. Posts going around Face­book urged peo­ple to not use deb­it or cred­it cards at Wal­mart, claim­ing the store’s sys­tem had been hacked. Wal­mart found noth­ing to indi­cate sys­tems were com­pro­mised. Source: WFLA, Tam­pa

Florida school districts hit by malware attacks

Inter­na­tion­al hack­ers slipped into the com­put­er sys­tems of at least four Flori­da school dis­trict net­works in hopes of steal­ing the per­son­al data of hun­dreds of thou­sands of stu­dents. They infect­ed the sys­tems with mal­ware that turned off the logs record­ing who accessed the sys­tems. For three months, the hack­ers probed the sys­tems, map­ping them out and test­ing their defens­es. At one point, they post­ed pho­tos of some­one dressed as an ISIS fight­er on two school dis­trict web­sites. Source: Mia­mi Herald