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“In its December monthly report to Congress, the Department of Veteran’s Affairs (VA) has reported a near 61 percent decrease in PHI-related healthcare data breaches since November. This is a welcomed change to last month’s 36 percent increase in PHI-related healthcare data breaches. According to the report, December saw only 240 PHI-related healthcare data breaches compared to November’s 616. Consequently, the number of potentially affected individuals also dropped from November to December, with the VA reporting only 394 affected veterans in December and 693 reported in November.”
“A new zero-day vulnerability has been discovered that allows Android or Linux applications to escalate privileges and gain root access, according to a report released this morning by Perception Point.
“This affects all Android phones KitKat and higher,” said Yevgeny Pats, co-founder and CEO at security vendor Perception Point.
Any machine with Linux Kernel 3.8 or higher is vulnerable, he said, including tens of millions of Linux PCs and servers, both 32-bit and 64-bit. Although Linux lags in popularity on the desktop, the operating system dominates the Internet, mobile, embedded systems and the Internet of Things, and powers nearly all of the world’s supercomputers.”
Legal and Regulation
Microsoft announced that starting March 31, 2016 it will begin blocking ad-injection methods, which use a variety of “Man in The Middle” techniques, such as injections through proxy, changing DNS settings, and network layer manipulation. The update follows Microsoft’s former announcements on this matter in addition to the policy and enforcement measures that it had taken, addressing unwanted behaviors exhibited by advertising programs that take away both choice and control from users.
“According to a study by the Pew Research Center reported by Advertising Age, only 47 percent were comfortable with loyalty program tracking and sharing data with third parties. The study reported that older respondents were generally less comfortable sharing loyalty program data than younger respondents. The survey further showed that people with household incomes above $30,000 were less likely to be comfortable with data sharing than people with household incomes below $30,000. The study went on to say that 32 percent said it was unacceptable for retailers to collect shopping data and sell it to third parties and 20 percent said, “It depends.””
– Retail Wire
“Samsung is being sued by a Dutch consumer group for its alleged lackadaisical approach to security updates for its Android phones. The Dutch Consumers’ Association (DCA) claims that an incredible 82 per cent of Samsung phones do not have the latest version of Android installed. It blames the Korean giant for failing to prod customers to update their software and notes that regular updates are necessary to “protect consumers from cybercriminals and the loss of their personal data.””
“As Super Bowl 50 approaches, government security officials are examining whether recent attacks on fiber optic systems in California could be connected to a “more complex plot” against the game. A series of unsolved incidents — in which fiber optic cables in the Bay Area were deliberately severed — is one of several risks detailed in an internal memo shared by the FBI and U.S. Department of Homeland Security intelligence analysts in the lead-up to Super Bowl 50 on Feb. 7.”
“Aerospace parts manufacturer FACC says that its financial accounting department has been attacked by hackers, who managed to steal approximately €50 million ($54.5 million) from its coffers. Perhaps surprisingly, the company, whose largest shareholder is a Chinese aviation corporation, appears not to have been hacked for its data or intellectual property, but instead for cold hard cash. If the claims of the hackers robbing €50 million from FACC are accurate then it is certainly a notable attack, with last year’s Ponemon study claiming that the average data breach cost affected companies $3.8 million.”