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Security & Privacy Daily News Alert

Security & Privacy Daily News Alert
May 18, 2015

By Byron Acohido, ThirdCertainty

Who’s flying this thing? Cybersecurity researcher Chris Roberts said he caused a plane’s engine to climb after hacking its software, according to a court document. Roberts was questioned by the FBI after he tweeted that he was probing systems on a United Airlines flight on which he was a passenger. He has not been charged with a crime, although United banned him from its planes. FBI agent Mark S. Hurley wrote in a warrant application that Roberts said he connected his laptop to the in-flight entertainment system through the Seat Electronic Box, which is under some seats. After hacking the IFE system, he gained access to other systems on the plane, Hurley wrote. Source: Network World

More coverage: A Business Insurance survey of 327 risk-management decision-makers and 995 insurers, brokers and consultants shows 80 percent acknowledged that hacking risks for account manipulation or obtaining company, customer or private information or data destruction was a top concern. Additionally, 63 percent of risk managers acknowledged that they purchased a specific cyber policy for their company, while 35 percent said they obtained coverage for cyber risks through other policies. Source: Business Insurance

People power outage: Law firm BakerHostetler says human error was responsible for the majority of security incident cases it worked in 2014. Employee negligence was cited in 36 percent of the cases, followed by outside theft (22 percent), insider theft (16 percent), malware (16 percent) and phishing (14 percent). The health care sector had the most incidents reported last year, followed by retail and hospitality, financial services, professional services and education. Source: CSO

Threat from the East? An attack that led to the shutdown of one Penn State college’s network is thought to have originated from China, the university has said. The Penn State College of Engineering said it came under attack by advanced malware, but the college said there was no evidence that personal data was stolen. FireEye, a cybersecurity firm hired by the university, pointed to a “threat actor” in China in the “advanced persistent threat.” Penn State develops hundreds of millions of dollars worth of technology for the military and the government each year. Source: ZDNet

Get outta my face: Willem Debeuckelaere, president of the Belgian privacy commission, told Facebook to stop monitoring the Web cookies of Internet users who have either never used Facebook or logged out of the site only to continue being monitored. “Facebook tramples on European and Belgian privacy laws” by tracking nonusers’ Internet activity, he says. He recommended that users download privacy software, in part because Facebook can link an individual’s online activity to his real identity, thus helping advertisers follow them. Source: International Business Times

Mind your own business: Although consumer identity theft gets a lot of attention, businesses also are being targeted. The Identity Theft Protection Association says the crime involves impersonation of the business. A thief might act as a representative of the company to defraud creditors and suppliers, loan officers, customers, even the government if taxes are involved. The results could be a drained company bank account, unexpected lines of credit, misdirected customer payments, and unauthorized equipment purchases. Source: Chase

My plate is full: The FBI has invested thousands of dollars in license-plate reader technology, but it halted a purchase order after lawyers raised privacy concerns, according to documents obtained by The Associated Press. The technology relies on a network of cameras to capture data from vehicle license plates. Law enforcement views scanners as a valuable tool for criminal investigations. But as the number of tags recorded in police files has grown into the millions, privacy groups such as the American Civil Liberties Union worry. Source: The Associated Press via ABC News

County counts: Former Lonoke County, Ark., assessor Jack McNally faces credit card fraud and property theft charges following a legislative audit of county funds. Sheriff John Staley said McNally served as county assessor from 2010 to 2013. Source: The Associated Press via KUAR radio

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