Category Archives: Safety & Security

California voters approved California Privacy Rights and Enforcement Act. Now what?

California voters approved California Privacy Rights and Enforcement Act. Now what?

On November 3, California citizens approved the California Privacy Rights and Enforcement Act (CPRA), a comprehensive privacy law that expands the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA). Of note, the CPRA creates more stringent requirements for companies that collect and share sensitive personal information and creates the California Privacy Protection Agency, which will be responsible for enforcing CPRA violations once the CPRA becomes effective on January 1, 2023. Most privacy experts believe the CPRA moves California closer to the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

The CPRA defines “sensitive personal information” as a wide range of data points that includes things like account and login information, precise geolocation data, contents of mail, email and text messages, genetic data, Social Security numbers, drivers licenses, passports, financial accounts, race, ethnicity, religion, union membership, personal communications, genetic and biometric data, health information, and anything about sex life or sexual orientation.

CPRA sets limits on the collection and retention of personal information, requiring a business to retain only that which is reasonably necessary to achieve the purposes for which the personal information was collected or processed. In addition, the CPRA requires businesses to inform consumers of the length of time the business intends to retain each category of personal information and sensitive personal information, or the criteria used to determine that period.

The CPRA also expands the private right of action for consumers to bring claims against a business for the unauthorized access or disclosure of an email address and password or security question that would permit access to an account, along with access to a consumer’s non-encrypted and non-redacted personal information. It creates triple damages for violations relating to consumers who are minors under the age of 16.

One key change in the CCPA requirements in the CPRA is an extension of an exemption for businesses in terms of their employees’ data. The CPRA gives businesses the exemption from meeting the consumer privacy requirements’ tough standards for their employees until January 1, 2023. However, businesses will have to comply with certain aspects of employee privacy protection between now and then.

Source: California voters approved a new and even tougher data privacy act.  What happens now?

Cloudflare and Apple design a new privacy-friendly internet protocol

Cloudflare and Apple design a new privacy-friendly internet protocol

Engineers at Cloudflare (NET) and Apple (AAPL) say they’ve developed a new internet protocol that will shore up against “one of the biggest holes in internet privacy.” Dubbed Oblivious DNS-over-HTTPS (ODoH), as Nick Sullivan, Cloudflare’s head of research explains, it is meant to “separate the information about who is making the query and what the query is.”

Every time you go to visit a website, your browser uses a DNS resolver to convert web addresses to machine-readable IP addresses to locate where a web page is located on the internet. But this process is not encrypted, meaning that every time you load a website the DNS query is sent in the clear. That means the DNS resolver — which might be your internet provider unless you’ve changed it — knows which websites you visit. That’s not great for your privacy, especially since your internet provider can also sell your browsing history to advertisers.

Enter ODoH, which decouples DNS queries from the internet user, preventing the DNS resolver from knowing which sites you visit.

ODoH wraps a layer of encryption around the DNS query and passes it through a proxy server, which acts as a go-between the internet user and the website they want to visit. Because the DNS query is encrypted, the proxy can’t see what’s inside, but acts as a shield to prevent the DNS resolver from seeing who sent the query to begin with.

Cloudflare (NET) is a constituent in the Foxberry Tematica Research Cybersecurity & Data Privacy Index.

 

Source: Cloudflare and Apple design a new privacy-friendly internet protocol | TechCrunch

Almost one-third of top online shopping domains are vulnerable to a cyber attack

Almost one-third of top online shopping domains are vulnerable to a cyber attack

It’s extremely important for digital shopping and e-commerce platform websites that handle sensitive customer information to ensure the communication between servers and users is encrypted. As we move in the 2020 holiday shopping season, one that is widely expected to shift considerably to digital shopping given the resurgence in the coronavirus, this is more critical than ever. However, new report from CyberNews found that nearly one-third of analyzed web servers were vulnerable.

CyberNews decided to see if popular online shops take their encryption hygiene seriously. To do this, our Investigation team analyzed the web servers of 2,620 popular online shopping domains for SSL configuration security, as well as their susceptibility to known vulnerabilities related to the Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) encryption protocol.

…to carry out this investigation, we gathered a list of the top 2,620 online shop domains on Google search. We then tested them for their SSL web server configuration security and their susceptibility to six known high-severity SSL vulnerabilities by using the Qualys SSL Server Test service.

We found that even though the absolute majority of online shops follow excellent to good SSL configuration practices in general, almost a third of the web servers we analyzed are susceptible to known SSL vulnerabilities, with the BEAST vulnerability being the most widespread among online shops.

BEAST (short for Browser Exploit Against SSL/TLS) is an attack that allows a threat actor to access the data exchanged between a web server and the user’s web browser.

Source: 30% of top online shopping domains are vulnerable to BEAST SSL attack | CyberNews

How The Pandemic Has Increased The Need for Cybersecurity

How The Pandemic Has Increased The Need for Cybersecurity

The first known cyberattack hit in 1988, when what became known as the Morris Worm installed itself on a computer every one out of seven times, even if the computer claimed it already had the program. With each installation, the infected computers would become further debilitated until they finally crashed. The worm damaged approximately 6,000 computers, which represented 10% of the entire internet at the time, and we have never looked back.

Over the ensuing three decades, computing and connectivity would become increasingly ubiquitous as more of how we work, play, and live becomes digital, and the combination of chips and sensors have become the fabric of our lives.

The dark side of this increasingly digital lifestyle is the voluminous growth in the number of attack vectors by cybercriminals and other bad actors. While driven primarily by financial motives, one of the more lucrative areas for cybercriminals today is data theft. Early in 2020, the Department of Homeland Security warned of an increase in cyber threats due to heightened tensions with Iran. Later in 2020, a little thing known as the coronavirus accelerated the adoption of digital technologies and solutions, leaving us and our data increasingly vulnerable as companies were forced to go virtual nearly overnight.

Read more here…

GAO report warns of aviation cybersecurity risks

GAO report warns of aviation cybersecurity risks

We at Tematica are unfortunately firm believers that the new connective technologies and applications associated with our Digital Lifestyle and Digital Infrastructure investing themes will create new attack vectors for cyberattackers and other bad actors. A new report  describes the connected entrainment we enjoy while traveling on aircraft as an example of just that. Another market that will help drive cybersecurity and data privacy spending that is captured by the Foxberry Tematica Research Cybersecurity & Data Privacy USD PR Index and the Rize Cybersecurity and Data Privacy UCITS EFT (CYBR).

The Government Accountability Office (GAO) noted in a report Friday (Oct. 9) that the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has not held testing of possibly susceptible technology, prioritized digital risks or created a digital security instruction program.

Entertainment systems, wireless networks, technologies that send information back to earth without intervention and position broadcasts are some of the complex digital infrastructure on commercial airliners.

According to the report, as noted by Bloomberg, “Until FAA strengthens its oversight program, based on assessed risks, it may not be able to ensure it is providing sufficient oversight to guard against evolving cybersecurity risks facing avionics systems in commercial airplane.”

Source: GAO Warns Of Aviation Cybersecurity Risks | PYMNTS.com

Data breach exposes data of more than 100K patients at Utah Pathology Services

Data breach exposes data of more than 100K patients at Utah Pathology Services

A number of reports have named healthcare facilities and services as a prime target for cyber attacks, no surprise given the amount of personal data contained in their patient records. What the below report shows, however, is it took the identification of a different problem to reveal the the scope of data that was being made available, including in some cases social security numbers.

As one might expect, Utah Pathology has updated its security measures but it has also offered one year of free identity monitoring services to individuals affected by the incident.

 

The company wrote it discovered on June 30 that an unknown third party hacked into one of its email accounts in an attempt to redirect funds from the business. After discovering the attempted fraud, Utah Pathology secured the email account and launched an investigation.

Approximately 112,000 patients had their personal information exposed by a data breach at Utah Pathology Services.

The breach was discovered when the organization discovered “an unknown party attempted to redirect funds from within Utah Pathology,” according to a press release from the company. The attempted fraud led to the discovered of that patient information was accessible and included one or more of the following:

    • Date of birth
    • Gender
    • Phone number
    • Mailing address
    • Email address
    • Insurance information including ID and group numbers and clinical and diagnostic information related to pathology services
    • And, for a smaller percentage of patients, Social Security number

 

Source: Breach exposes data of more than 100K patients at Utah Pathology Services | KUTV

Emerging Technology Trend: Data Privacy Compliance Becomes Part of a New Normal

Emerging Technology Trend: Data Privacy Compliance Becomes Part of a New Normal

Data privacy compliance will spur corporate spending, leading to an investing opportunity to those that recognize it.

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) was adopted in April of 2016 by the European Union and became effective in May of 2018. At a high level, these regulations are fairly straightforward in their requirement to “Protect User Data,” but we see that, like any regulation worth its salt, compliance may not be as straightforward as advertised. As you’ll see, despite the complexities and sea of acronyms to be had, the bottom line is data privacy compliance will spur corporate spending, leading to an investing opportunity to those that recognize it. With that said, here’s a look at GDPR’s set of regulations affecting companies that collect data on citizens of countries within the European Union.

This legislation looks to lay out a framework that protects “fundamental rights and freedoms of natural persons and in particular their right to protection of personal data.” From the get-go, this is strong stuff. This is targeted at information that users have already provided (knowingly or unknowingly) to companies they interact with online.

READ MORE HERE: Emerging Technology Trend: Data Privacy Compliance Becomes Part of a New Normal | Nasdaq

Alexa hack showcases vulnerabilities in connected IoT devices

Alexa hack showcases vulnerabilities in connected IoT devices

A recent report from Check Point Security (CHKP) revealed a number of Amazon (AMZN) and Alexa subdomains were vulnerable to a Cross-Origin Resource Sharing (CORS) misconfiguration and Cross Site Scripting (XSS). The report goes on to say that by using XSS, an attacker would be able to acquire a CSRF token that would provide them access to elements of the smart home installation. Another reminder of the dark side to our increasingly connected Digital Lifestyle and one that also bodes well for those constituents inside the Foxberry Tematica Research Cybersecurity & Data Privacy Index

According to the researchers, these could include automatically installing Alexa skills without the knowledge of the user, acquiring a list of all installed skills, silently removing installed skills, acquiring the victim’s voice history with Alexa, and to even gain personal information.

This skill manipulation can allow for a modified version of an existing skill to be installed and then used by the user, one that could allow actions to be performed by the attacker, or for further acquisition of data from the user. It could even be possible for an attacker to install a skill to eavesdrop into conversations near an Echo device.

“Internet of Things devices are inherently vulnerable and still lack adequate security, which makes them attractive targets to threat actors,” Check Point writes. “Cybercriminals are continually looking for new ways to breach devices, or use them to infect other critical systems. This research presented a weak point in what is a bridge to such IoT appliances. Both the bridge and the devices serve as entry points. They must be kept secured at all times to keep hackers from infiltrating our smart homes.”

Source: Alexa hack granted attackers access to an Echo user’s smart home network | Appleinsider

GDPR class action lawsuits over cookie tracking consent hit Oracle and Salesforce

GDPR class action lawsuits over cookie tracking consent hit Oracle and Salesforce

One of the key differentiators in Tematica’s Cybersecurity & Digital Privacy investment theme and the Foxberry Tematica Research Cybersecurity & Data Privacy Index has been the recognition of the evolving data privacy regulatory landscape. One of those key pieces is the GDPR regulation, which includes consent for processing an  EU citizens’ personal data must be informed, specific and given freely and confers rights on individuals surrounding their data, including ability to receive a copy of their personal information. It’s against that regulatory backdrop that Oracle and Salesforce are lawsuits in the UK and Netherlands.

The high profile nature of these companies and therefore these lawsuits along with the impact on third party cookie usage for ad tracking and targeting and the potential size of the fines to be had make these cases to watch.

 

The use of third party cookies for ad tracking and targeting by data broker giants Oracle and Salesforce is the focus of class action style litigation announced today in the UK and the Netherlands.

Non-profit foundation, The Privacy Collective, has filed one case today with the District Court of Amsterdam, accusing the two data broker giants of breaching the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in their processing and sharing of people’s information via third party tracking cookies and other adtech methods.

The Dutch case, which is being led by law-firm bureau Brandeis, is the biggest-ever class action in The Netherlands related to violation of the GDPR — with the claimant foundation representing the interests of all Dutch citizens whose personal data has been used without their consent and knowledge by Oracle and Salesforce.

A similar case is due to be filed later this month at the High Court in London England, which will make reference to the GDPR and the UK’s PECR (Privacy of Electronic Communications Regulation) — the latter governing the use of personal data for marketing communications. The case there is being led by law firm Cadwalader.

Discussing the lawsuit in a telephone call with TechCrunch, Dr Rebecca Rumbul, class representative and claimant in England & Wales, said: “There is, I think, no way that any normal person can really give informed consent to the way in which their data is going to be processed by the cookies that have been placed by Oracle and Salesforce.

“When you start digging into it there are numerous, fairly pernicious ways in which these cookies can and probably do operate — such as cookie syncing, and the aggregation of personal data — so there’s really, really serious privacy concerns there.”

Source: Oracle and Salesforce hit with GDPR class action lawsuits over cookie tracking consent | TechCrunch