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News This Week

 

NEWS THIS WEEK: Apple patches iOS vulnerabilities; Roomba’s plan to map homes raises concerns; tax breaks for cybersecurity training proposed

By Byron V. Acohido

In news this wekk, a company is offering to microchip employees, enabling them to open doors, log onto computers and purchase snacks with a swipe of the hand. Three Square Market, also known as 32M, said more than 50 employees are voluntarily getting implants Aug. 1 at what the company is calling a “chip party.” The chips are the size of a grain of rice and are inserted underneath the skin between the thumb and forefinger using a syringe. The procedure takes a couple of seconds. Company leaders hope the $300 microchips eventually can be used on air travel, public transit and for storing medical information. The company is partnering with Sweden’s BioHax International, where employees have …more

NEWS THIS WEEK: Google resists Europe’s privacy rules; Ashley Madison pays $11 million to settle privacy breach suit; hacker grabs control of Segway scooter

By Byron V. Acohido

In the news this week, Europe’s “right to be forgotten” ruling, which allows private citizens in the region to make requests that search engines delist incorrect, irrelevant or out of date information returned by an online search for their full name, is set to return to the region’s top court to settle an ongoing dispute between Google and the French data protection agency, CNIL. The latter has pushed for Google to make these delistings apply globally, across all web domains, rather than geo-limiting delistings to the person’s home territory (as Google prefers to)—arguing that for Google not to do this offers a trivial workaround to a rule that’s intended to preserve European’s privacy rights. Google filed an …more

NEWS THIS WEEK: Face scan may be required to travel abroad; Trump hotels violate privacy; Verizon exposes data

By Byron V. Acohido

In the news this week, U.S. citizens boarding international flights might have to submit to a face scan. The Department of Homeland Security says it’s the only way to successfully expand a program that tracks nonimmigrant foreigners. They have been required by law since 2004 to submit to biometric identity scans—but to date have only had their fingerprints and photos collected prior to entry. Now, DHS says it’s ready to implement face scans on departure—aimed mainly at better tracking visa overstays but also at tightening security. But, the agency says, U.S. citizens also must be scanned for the program to work. Privacy advocates say that oversteps Congress’ mandate. “Congress authorized scans of foreign nationals. DHS heard that …more

NEWS THIS WEEK: Privacy group sues Trump administration; Pennsylvania county loses childrens’ records; Window 10 needs privacy update

By Byron V. Acohido

In the news this week, a privacy watchdog group is suing the Trump administration’s commission investigating alleged election fraud, saying the requested information violates voters’ privacy. The Electronic Privacy Information Center, a nonprofit research organization, filed for a temporary restraining order to block the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity from gathering voter records from state election officials. The commission has requested election officials provide voters’ birth date, party affiliation, partial Social Security numbers, voter history, felony convictions and military service status. “The publication of voters’ personal information violates the constitutional right to informational privacy,” EPIC’s lawsuit says. “The Supreme Court has long recognized that individuals have a constitutionally protected interest in ‘avoiding disclosure of personal matters.'” …more

NEWS THIS WEEK: Ransomware worm spreads globally; Apple, Cisco partner on systems to lower cyber insurance costs; British navy ships vulnerable to cyber attack

By Byron V. Acohido

In the news this past week, companies worldwide struggled to recover after a wave of powerful cyber attacks crippled computer systems in Europe, Asia and the United States with a virus similar to the global ransomware assault in May that infected computers. Researchers at Kaspersky Lab said a regional Ukrainian website was hacked and used to distribute the ransomware, which attacked around 2,000 users across the globe. The company said that its preliminary findings suggest the malware is a new kind of ransomware not seen before. The virus downed systems at the site of the former Chernobyl nuclear power plant in Ukraine, forcing scientists to manually monitor radiation levels. Danish shipping giant A.P. Moller-Maersk said it was working to …more

NEWS THIS WEEK: Republican contractor exposes voter records; California seeks stiffer data privacy law; Florida schools hacked

By Byron V. Acohido

In the news this past week, 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 …more

NEWS THIS WEEK: Russia’s hacking of U.S. election runs deep; North Korean hackers execute wide attacks; Uber fumbles privacy

By Byron V. Acohido

In the news this past week, Russia’s cyber attack on the U.S. electoral system before Donald Trump’s election was far more widespread than has been publicly revealed, including incursions into voter databases and software systems in almost twice as many states as previously reported. In Illinois, investigators found evidence that cyber intruders tried to delete or alter voter data. The hackers accessed software designed to be used by poll workers on Election Day, and in at least one state, accessed a campaign finance database. In all, the Russian hackers hit systems in a total of 39 states. The scope and sophistication so concerned Obama administration officials that they took an unprecedented step—complaining directly to Moscow over a …more