Tag Archives: hacking

Check Your Technology at the Door

Recent news of government monitoring of phone calls and emails, both within the U.S. and abroad, has caused some to reexamine their technological companions.  Many are beginning to ask, when highly confidential and sensitive information is being discussed, should our seemingly indispensable technology be checked at the door?

This month, the British government began banning the presence of iPads at certain Cabinet meetings over concerns that the devices could contain viruses that would allow third parties to take control of the microphone and transmit recorded audio. … More

Albert Gonzalez Gets 20 Years for TJX / Heartland Breaches

Last week was a tough week for Albert Gonzalez, the so-called "leader of the largest hacking and identity theft ring ever prosecuted by the U.S. government."  Gonzalez received a sentence of 20 years of imprisonment in two separate federal cases against him.  The hacker, known variously as "segvec," "soupnazi" and "j4guar17" pled guilty in the New Jersey and Massachusetts cases for his role as mastermind of the two largest financial data breaches ever,… More

Subject of FBI Investigation Reveals Government Concerns About Access to Federal Courts’ Public PACER System

Reddit co-founder Aaron Swartz was apparently the subject of an FBI investigation for “participating in a project to take the publicly owned US court records from the PACER database (where they were very expensive to access) and put them on the web.” 

Mr. Swartz has made this information public by releasing the contents of his FBI file, obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request. His file reveals that the FBI was treating his access of PACER as a crime which cost the victim,… More

Incident of the Week (Year?): Hacker Responsible for Largest Data Breach in U.S. History Indicted

According to a press release from the United States Attorney’s Office for the District of New Jersey, yesterday an "indictment was returned against three individuals who are charged with being responsible for five corporate data breaches, including the single largest reported data breach in U.S. history."  According to the press release, the indictment describes a scheme whereby Albert "Segvec" Gonzalez and two unnamed Russian defendants (identified as "Hacker 1"… More

How far do anti-hacking statutes extend?

An appellate court in Ohio was recently called upon to analyze that state’s cybercrime statute, OCR Ann. §2913.04, which criminalizes unauthorized access to protected computers.  In Ohio v. Wolf the court held that a city employee who was using a city computer during work hours to view pornography, visit adult “dating” websites, and solicit sexual activity, had exceeded his authorized access to the computer and was guilty of the felony of “unauthorized use of property;… More

Senate Drafting Cybersecurity Law – Seeks To Appoint National “Cybersecurity Czar”

Senators Jay Rockefeller (D-W.Va.), Chairman of the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee, Olympia Snowe (R-Maine) and Bill Nelson (D-Fla.) are drafting cybersecurity legislation that would establish a permanent national security czar reporting directly to the White House, according to a recent announcement from Senator Nelson and other reports.  The proposed legislation would also

  • require intelligence and Homeland Security officials to perform vulnerability assessments;…
  • More

A bad week for the government – data breaches at federal organizations on the rise

 It has been a bad week for the federal government’s own information security track record.

The first story comes from the FAA where hackers broke into the agency’s computer systems and stole personal information on some 45,000 individuals. The second story comes from Los Alamos National Laboratory, which confirmed the theft of 67 computers, 13 in the past year alone. In both instances the American people appear to have dogged a bullet. The electronic intrusion into the FAA appears to have been limited to a raid of personal information and did not interfere with air traffic control systems. … More

Trends in Data Breach Incidents, Part 1: Identity Theft Resource Center (ITRC) Reports Breaches Up 47% in 2008, Hackers Only Responsible for 13.9% of All Incidents

On January 2, 2009, the Identity Theft Resource Center (ITRC) released its report(.pdf) on data breaches in the United States in 2008 (you can read the Washington Post’s primer on the ITRC’s findings here). The raw numbers are headline grabbing — 656 data breaches in 2008, a 47% increase from 2007. The sharp increase in numbers from 2007 to 2008 could be a result of an increase in data breach incidents,… More