New victims, same old story…. An unprotected USB stick containing private information of Canadian residents went missing from an office of Human Resources and Skills Development in Gatineau, Quebec.
The drive was storing the names, social insurance numbers, dates of birth and loan balances of 583000 students who had borrowed money between 2000 and 2006.
The internal investigation on the affair started only two months after the discovery of the loss of the stick (Nov. 5th) and a notification was sent to the victims only last Friday.
So the question remains: Are we ever going to learn from others’ mistakes? Especially now that Device Control, Data Loss Prevention and USB encryption software has been around for ages and it’s virtually in everybody’s reach.
Jeffrey Paul Delisle, ex sub-lieutenant of the Navy Intelligence admitted that the spying charges against him were true. According to prosecutor Lyne Decarie, he willingly entered the Russian Embassy in 2007 to offer to sell confidential military information. Apparently, he was getting around $3000 per month for his services, but he declares he wasn’t doing it for the money, but for’ ideological reasons’.
He was asked to copy references about the Russians from his work PC to an USB stick, then he took the stick home and uploaded the data to an email application to share it with the people paying him.
You can find more info on this high-level spying affair here:
Stuxnet, the worm created by the US and Israel for breaking down Iran’s nuclear plant Natanz got out of their control
An article published today in the New York Times shows that the Stuxnet virus-written and deployed by the US and Israeli government-targeting the Iranian nuclear plant Natanz got out in the wild. It seems that the purpose of the code was to set back the Iranian nuclear research program by commanding the control hardware responsible for the spin rate of the centrifuge equipment. The important aspect of this is the fact that the worm only targeted this specific nuclear plant, it was never intended to spread on the Internet.
The network at Natanz is air-gapped, which made it very difficult for the people who made the plan to introduce the code into the network. They needed someone with physical access to the site to get the worm inside through thumb drives (this is also the manner how the first versions of the worm were distributed). To quote one of the architects of the plan: ‘It turns out there is always an idiot around who doesn’t think much about the thumb drive in their hand.’
The way Stuxnet spread outside Natanz’s network is most probably on a laptop. Fortunately, security researchers were able to annihilate it.
Endpoint Protector just announced the launch of the Content Aware Protection module as a Customer Preview. The new 4.1 version incorporates top of the line technology that enables you to eliminate risks of confidential data loss or data leakage to the Internet or the Cloud (services such as Google Drive, Dropbox, iCloud, etc.)
To read more on the new Endpoint Protector feature, visit: http://www.cososys.com/press_releases/Press_Release_Endpoint_Protector_adds_Content_Aware_Protection_to_prevent_data_leaks_to_the_cloud_15-May-2012_EN.html
The launch of the new Endpoint Protector 4 client for Linux did not pass unnoticed.
The Var Guy wrote a blog post presenting the new release and emphasizing the importance of Data Loss Prevention and Device Control solutions for mixed environments (Win, Linux, MAC).
You can read the whole article here: http://www.thevarguy.com/2012/04/10/endpoint-protector-4-adds-linux-support/
What is Data Loss Prevention? Is it related to technology, processes or people? Is it limited to some administrative policies and IT restrictions? These are the questions discussed in a well-documented recent article on darkreading.com.
DLP is not just an information security concern, it is not just a technical issue. DLP involves the entire organization, establishing what data is sensitive, where the sensitive data is kept, how is it accessed and used, and only after understanding these key points will they be able to define and implement a strategy for protecting and securing such data, at a level of both administrative processes and IT limitations.
In short, DLP is a business issue and it concerns technology as well as processes and people.
With the rising number of attacks and unintentional data leakage, protecting sensitive information became an essential task for any organization, regardless of its size. This is why the implementation of security controls for preventing data loss is actually the foundation for a secure business performance.
You can read more on this hot topic on darkreading.com
Endpoint Protector just launched the new versions for Ubuntu and openSUSE of its Device Control and Data Loss Prevention solution, Endpoint Protector 4. With the new launched version, Endpoint Protector is virtually platfom-independent.
Endpoint Protector 4 is available as Hardware and Virtual Appliance, with support for Windows, Mac OS X and Linux Ubuntu 10.04 LTS and openSUSE 11.4. The data and device security solution ensures a complete and proactive protection against both inside and outside threats for organizations in an easy, but highly efficient manner with seamless integration and no operating system constraints. For more details, please visit: http://www.endpointprotector.com/en/index.php/products/endpoint_protector
The mobile industry is no longer thriving, as it has reached a critical point due to the security concerns raised by companies trying to integrate mobile computing into their overall security framework. A fresh survey on mobile security shows this type of devices represents a critical business tool, boosting creativity, but their malfunctions or security threats need to be avoided and carefully managed.73% of organizations reported visible efficiency increases due to integrating mobile computing into business operations and processes, according to the mobile industry study that queried over 6200 IT decision makers. Read more
A data breach caused when an Office for Nuclear Regulation official lost an USB memory containing details about safety tests at the Hartleport power plant is currently being investigated by the authorities. While the memory stick was caring only safety “stress-test” not “significantly sensitive” data, none of the files stored had been encrypted. The stress tests the lost portable device stored are currently being carried out at European nuclear power plants in an attempt to prevent future disaster, like the nuclear disaster at Fukushima power plant caused by the Japan earthquake last year.
According to an official ONR statement, the reports contained by the memory stick would have been made public after their completion, yet the office completely forbids the use of unencrypted devices for transporting documents with security classification. This means that the official responsible for the breach has broken ONR security regulations. The Hartlepool plant, operated by EDF Energy, confirmed the lost USB stick did not have important data. They also mentioned that when they would have been published, the results of the tests would have been less detailed. Read more
A data breach affecting 1.8 million customers of two New York utilities companies has recently been made public by the New York State Public Service Commission. The investigation into this data breach was initiated after an employee from a third party IT company contracted by New York State Electric & Gas (NYSEG) and Rochester Gas and Electric (RG&E) was given unauthorized access to the company’s databases.
It is not clear if accessing the customer databases had any malicious intent, both affected companies claiming there was no proof of any data having been misused as a consequence of the breach. But, to stay on the safe side, they have decided to send out notifications regarding the data access, as it exposed Social Security Numbers, dates of birth and financial account information, as shown in the official press release sent out by the NY Commission. Read more