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Italy Data Protection Authority Warns Websites Against Use of Google Analytics

Italy Data Protection Authority Warns Websites Against Use of Google Analytics

June 27, 2022Ravie Lakshmanan
Following the footsteps of  Austria  and  France , the Italian Data Protection Authority has become the latest regulator to find the use of Google Analytics to be non-compliant with E.U. data protection regulations. The Garante per la Protezione dei Dati Personali, in a press release  published  last week, called out a local web publisher for using the widely used analytics tool in a manner that allowed key bits of users' personal data to be illegally transferred to the U.S. without necessary safeguards. This includes interactions of users with the websites, the individual pages visited, IP addresses of the devices used to access the websites, browser specifics, details related to the device's operating system, screen resolution, and the selected language, as well as the date and time of the visits. The Italian supervisory authority (SA) said that it arrived at this conclusion following a "complex fact-finding exercise" it commenced in collaboration with other E.
Block Admits Data Breach Involving Cash App Data Accessed by Former Employee

Block Admits Data Breach Involving Cash App Data Accessed by Former Employee

April 06, 2022Ravie Lakshmanan
Block, the company formerly known as Square, has disclosed a data breach that involved a former employee downloading unspecified reports pertaining to its Cash App Investing that contained information about its U.S. customers. "While this employee had regular access to these reports as part of their past job responsibilities, in this instance these reports were accessed without permission after their employment ended," the firm  revealed  in a April 4 filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Block  advertises  Cash App as "the easiest way to send money, spend money, save money, and buy cryptocurrency." The breach is said to have occurred last year on December 10, 2021, with the downloaded reports including customers' full names as well as their brokerage account numbers, and in some cases, brokerage portfolio value, brokerage portfolio holdings, and stock trading activity for one trading day. The San Francisco-based company emphasized
Facebook Hit With $18.6 Million GDPR Fine Over 12 Data Breaches in 2018

Facebook Hit With $18.6 Million GDPR Fine Over 12 Data Breaches in 2018

March 16, 2022Ravie Lakshmanan
The Irish Data Protection Commission (DPC) on Tuesday slapped Facebook and WhatsApp owner Meta Platforms a fine of €17 million (~$18.6 million) for a series of security lapses that occurred in violation of the European Union's  GDPR laws  in the region. "The DPC found that Meta Platforms failed to have in place appropriate technical and organizational measures which would enable it to readily demonstrate the security measures that it implemented in practice to protect EU users' data, in the context of the twelve personal data breaches," the watchdog  said  in a press release. The decision follows the regulator's investigation into 12  data   breach   notifications  it received over the course of a six-month period between June 7 and December 4, 2018. "This fine is about record keeping practices from 2018 that we have since updated, not a failure to protect people's information," Meta  said  in a statement shared with the Associated Press. "
Microsoft Azure 'AutoWarp' Bug Could Have Let Attackers Access Customers' Accounts

Microsoft Azure 'AutoWarp' Bug Could Have Let Attackers Access Customers' Accounts

March 08, 2022Ravie Lakshmanan
Details have been disclosed about a now-addressed critical vulnerability in Microsoft's  Azure Automation  service that could have permitted unauthorized access to other Azure customer accounts and take over control. "This attack could mean full control over resources and data belonging to the targeted account, depending on the permissions assigned by the customer," Orca Security researcher Yanir Tsarimi  said  in a report published Monday. The flaw potentially put several entities at risk, including an unnamed telecommunications company, two car manufacturers, a banking conglomerate, and big four accounting firms, among others, the Israeli cloud infrastructure security company added. The Azure Automation service  allows  for process automation, configuration management, and handling operating system updates within a defined maintenance window across Azure and non-Azure environments. Dubbed " AutoWarp ," the issue affects all users of the Azure Automation
Second New 'IsaacWiper' Data Wiper Targets Ukraine After Russian Invasion

Second New 'IsaacWiper' Data Wiper Targets Ukraine After Russian Invasion

March 01, 2022Ravie Lakshmanan
A new data wiper malware has been observed deployed against an unnamed Ukrainian government network, a day after destructive cyber attacks struck multiple entities in the country preceding the start of Russia's military invasion. Slovak cybersecurity firm ESET dubbed the new malware " IsaacWiper ," which it said was detected on February 24 in an organization that was not affected by  HermeticWiper  (aka FoxBlade), another data wiping malware that targeted several organizations on February 23 as part of a sabotage operation aimed at rendering the machines unusable. Further analysis of the HermeticWiper attacks, which infected at least five Ukrainian organizations, have revealed a worm constituent that propagates the malware across the compromised network and a ransomware module that acts as a "distraction from the wiper attacks," corroborating a  prior report  from Symantec. "These destructive attacks leveraged at least three components: HermeticWiper f
This New Tool Can Retrieve Pixelated Text from Redacted Documents

This New Tool Can Retrieve Pixelated Text from Redacted Documents

February 17, 2022Ravie Lakshmanan
The practice of blurring out text using a method called pixelation may not be as secure as previously thought. While the most foolproof way of concealing sensitive textual information is to use opaque black bars, other redaction methods like pixelation can achieve the opposite effect, enabling the reversal of pixelized text back into its original form. Dan Petro, a lead researcher at offensive security firm Bishop Fox, has  demonstrated  a new open-source tool called  Unredacter  to reconstruct text from the pixelated images, effectively leaking the very information that was meant to be protected. The tool is also seen as an improvement over an existing utility named  Depix , which works by looking up what permutations of pixels could have resulted in certain pixelated blocks to recover the text. The threat model works on the underlying hypothesis that given a piece of text containing both redacted and un-redacted information, the attacker uses the information about the font si
EU Data Protection Watchdog Calls for Ban on Pegasus-like Commercial Spyware

EU Data Protection Watchdog Calls for Ban on Pegasus-like Commercial Spyware

February 16, 2022Ravie Lakshmanan
The European Union's data protection authority on Tuesday called for a ban on the development and the use of Pegasus-like commercial spyware in the region, stating that the technology's "unprecedented level of intrusiveness" could endanger users' right to privacy. "Pegasus constitutes a paradigm shift in terms of access to private communications and devices, which is able to affect the very essence of our fundamental rights, in particular the right to privacy," the European Data Protection Supervisor (EDPS)  said  in its preliminary remarks. "This fact makes its use incompatible with our democratic values." Pegasus  is a piece of highly advanced military-grade intrusion software developed by Israeli company NSO Group that's capable of breaking into smartphones running Android and iOS, turning the devices into a remote monitoring tool capable of extracting sensitive information, recording conversations, and tracking users' movements.
France Rules That Using Google Analytics Violates GDPR Data Protection Law

France Rules That Using Google Analytics Violates GDPR Data Protection Law

February 11, 2022Ravie Lakshmanan
French data protection regulators on Thursday found the use of Google Analytics a breach of the European Union's General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) laws in the country, almost a month after a  similar decision  was reached in Austria. To that end, the National Commission on Informatics and Liberty (CNIL) ruled that the transatlantic movement of Google Analytics data to the U.S. is not "sufficiently regulated" citing a violation of  Articles 44 et seq.  of the data protection decree, which govern the transfers of personal data to third countries or international entities. Specifically the independent administrative regulatory body highlighted the lack of equivalent privacy protections and the risk that "American intelligence services would access personal data transferred to the United States if the transfers were not properly regulated." "[A]lthough Google has adopted additional measures to regulate data transfers in the context of the Google An
Can Data Protection Systems Prevent Data At Rest Leakage?

Can Data Protection Systems Prevent Data At Rest Leakage?

May 13, 2021The Hacker News
Protection against insider risks works when the process involves controlling the data transfer channels or examining data sources. One approach involves preventing USB flash drives from being copied or sending them over email. The second one concerns preventing leakage or fraud in which an insider accesses files or databases with harmful intentions. What's the best way to protect your data? It seems obvious that prevention is the best way to solve any problem. In most cases, DCAP (data-centric audit and protection) and DAM (database activity monitoring) is sufficient. Both serve the purpose of protecting data at rest. The following example illustrates the approach we found in the Russian legal system. An employee of the Federal Migration Service in one of the Russian regions was approached by his friend, who asked him to hide information about two offenses in his file in the migrant database. The employee knew that this could be done remotely, accessed the database from home,
5 Places Where Hackers Are Stealthily Stealing Your Data In 2019

5 Places Where Hackers Are Stealthily Stealing Your Data In 2019

October 31, 2019The Hacker News
Skyrocketing data breaches bring incalculable losses to organizations and can cost cybersecurity executives their jobs. Here we examine the top five places in 2019 where cybercriminals are stealing corporate and government data without ever getting noticed and then learn how to avoid falling victim to unscrupulous attackers. 1. Misconfigured Cloud Storage 48% of all corporate data is stored in the cloud compared to 35% three years ago, according to a 2019 Global Cloud Security Study by cybersecurity company Thales that surveyed over 3,000 professionals across the globe. Contrastingly, only 32% of the organizations believe that protecting data in the cloud is their own responsibility, counting on cloud and IaaS providers to safeguard the data. Worse, 51% of the organizations do not use encryption or tokenization in the cloud. (ISC)² Cloud Security Report 2019 assets that 64% of cybersecurity professionals perceive data loss and leakage as the biggest risk associated with the
Unsecured Adobe Server Exposes Data for 7.5 Million Creative Cloud Users

Unsecured Adobe Server Exposes Data for 7.5 Million Creative Cloud Users

October 26, 2019Swati Khandelwal
The U.S. multinational computer software company Adobe has suffered a serious security breach earlier this month that exposed user records' database belonging to the company's popular Creative Cloud service. With an estimated 15 million subscribers, Adobe Creative Cloud or Adobe CC is a subscription service that gives users access to the company's full suite of popular creative software for desktop and mobile, including Photoshop, Illustrator, Premiere Pro, InDesign, Lightroom, and many more. What happened? — Earlier this month, security researcher Bob Diachenko collaborated with the cybersecurity firm Comparitech to uncover an unsecured Elasticsearch database belonging to Adobe Creative Cloud subscription service that was accessible to anyone without any password or authentication. How many victims? — The inadvertently exposed database, which has now been secured, contained personal information of nearly 7.5 million Adobe Creative Cloud user accounts. What type
CISO Kit — Breach Protection in the Palm of Your Hand

CISO Kit — Breach Protection in the Palm of Your Hand

September 11, 2019The Hacker News
CISOs and CIOs need to know better than anyone the security pulse of their organizations. On the other hand, they cannot be flooded with every changing detail. Finding the right balance that enables them to clearly grasp the big picture required in making sound decisions is a task many security executives find challenging. Threat actors do not acknowledge off-hours or weekends, introducing the need for constant vigilance. Moreover, CIOs and CISOs are heavily dependent on their team for knowledge and often lack the immediate interaction with the events in real-time. This situation is also far from favorable – after all, who if not the security executive should have the ability to be in-the-know and initiate action at the heart of things? Cynet rises to this challenge with the recently launched Cynet Dashboard application, which provides 24/7 insight into the overall security posture, real-time visibility into newly detected threats, and the ability to take rapid action if the nee
Google Will Now Pay Anyone Who Reports Apps Abusing Users' Data

Google Will Now Pay Anyone Who Reports Apps Abusing Users' Data

August 30, 2019Mohit Kumar
In the wake of data abuse scandals and several instances of malware app being discovered on the Play Store, Google today expanded its bug bounty program to beef up the security of Android apps and Chrome extensions distributed through its platform. The expansion in Google's vulnerability reward program majorly includes two main announcements. First, a new program, dubbed 'Developer Data Protection Reward Program' (DDPRP), wherein Google will reward security researchers and hackers who find "verifiably and unambiguous evidence" of data abuse issues in Android apps, OAuth projects, and Chrome extensions. Second, expanding the scope of its Google Play Security Rewards Program (GPSRP) to include all Android apps from the Google Play Store with over 100 million or more installs, helping affected app developers fix vulnerabilities through responsibly disclosures.' Get Bounty to Find Data-Abusing Android & Chrome Apps The data abuse bug bounty progr
Russia Fines Facebook $47 Over Citizens' Data Privacy Dispute

Russia Fines Facebook $47 Over Citizens' Data Privacy Dispute

April 12, 2019Wang Wei
Yes, you read that right! Russia has fined Facebook with 3,000 rubles, roughly $47, for not complying with the country's controversial Data Localization law. It's bizarre and unbelievable, but true. In December last year, Russian Internet watchdog Roskomnadzor sent notifications to Twitter and Facebook asking them to provide information about the location of servers that store the personal data of its citizens. Roskomnadzor – also known as the Federal Service for Supervision in the Sphere of Telecom, Information Technologies, and Mass Communications – is Russian telecommunications watchdog that runs a huge blacklist of websites banned in Russia. Though the social media platforms had one month to reply, they choose not to disclose this information, as a result of which Moscow's Tagansky District Court imposed 3,000 rubles fine on Twitter last week and the same on Facebook today. The fine is the minimum that Russian courts can impose on companies for violatin
Google to Encrypt Android Cloud Backups With Your Lock Screen Password

Google to Encrypt Android Cloud Backups With Your Lock Screen Password

October 15, 2018Swati Khandelwal
In an effort to secure users' data while maintaining privacy, Google has announced a new security measure for Android Backup Service that now encrypts all your backup data stored on its cloud servers in a way that even the company can't read it. Google allows Android users to automatically backup their essential app data and settings to their Google account, allowing them to simply restore it when required, instead of re-configuring all the apps after formatting or switching to a new phone. However, until now your backup data was not encrypted and visible to Google, and now the company is going to change its storage procedure. Starting with Android Pie, Google is going to encrypt your Android device backup data in the following way: Step 1: Your Android device will generate a random secret key (not known to Google), Step 2: The secret key will then get encrypted using your lockscreen PIN/pattern/passcode (not known to Google), Step 3: This passcode-protected
U.S. Charges Three Chinese Hackers for Hacking Siemens, Trimble & Moody

U.S. Charges Three Chinese Hackers for Hacking Siemens, Trimble & Moody

November 28, 2017Wang Wei
The United States Justice Department has charged three Chinese nationals for allegedly hacking Moody's Analytics economist, German electronics manufacturer Siemens, and GPS maker Trimble, and stealing gigabytes of sensitive data and trade secrets. According to an indictment unsealed Monday in federal court in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, the three men worked for a Chinese cybersecurity company, Guangzhou Bo Yu Information Technology Company Limited ( Boyusec ), previously linked to China's Ministry of State Security. Earlier this year, security researchers also linked Boyusec to one of the active Chinese government-sponsored espionage groups, called Advanced Persistent Threat 3 (or APT3 ), which is also known as Gothic Panda, UPS Team, Buckeye, and TG-0110. In 2013, APT3 allegedly stole the blueprints for ASIO's new Canberra building using a piece of malware that was uploaded to an ASIO employee's laptop. According to the indictment, the three Chinese nationals
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