Saturday, April 11, 2009

Retrospect is a bad place to be, because you can see all of your bad decisions from there.

Auditing firm in multiple-bank breach identified

April 11, 2009 by admin Filed under: Financial Sector, Subcontractor, Theft, U.S.

This story updates the breach first reported yesterday.

J. Harry Jones of the Union-Tribune confirms that laptop computers stolen from an accounting firm may contain personal financial information of many more banks and people than first revealed.

According to the Orange County Sheriff’s Department, the laptops were stolen between 4:30 p.m. March 4 and 7 a.m. March 5 from the Laguna Hills office of the accounting firm Vavrinek, Trine, Day and Co. The six laptops (not seven, as originally reported) were not encrypted but required two passwords.

White said he is not authorized to reveal what other banks are involved, whether any besides Borrego Springs Bank are based in San Diego County, or even the number of banks the firm had as clients.

“We’ve approached this very, very seriously,” White said. All the banks involved have been notified and each is making its own decisions about whether to notify its customers and how to otherwise handle the situation, he said.

I guess we’ll just have to wait to see which banks make announcements or send notifications, and when. If anyone has received a notification letter concerning this incident, please feel free to send a copy to this site.

Somehow the details will leak. Why not state your case immediately?

OR: BMC alleges improper record access

April 11, 2009 by admin Filed under: Healthcare Sector, U.S., Unauthorized Access

Markian Hawryluk reports:

Officials from Bend Memorial Clinic have filed a criminal complaint with Bend police alleging that employees of Cascade Healthcare Community’s new cancer center at St. Charles Bend have inappropriately viewed patient records from the clinic.

But clinic leadership declined to explain why they believe the cancer center staff had acted inappropriately, and hospital officials said they have yet to see a copy of the complaint.

An old argument. Yes we meant the information to be public, just not that public.

ME: Public Salaries Website Causes Privacy Dispute

Saturday, April 11 2009 @ 06:03 AM EDT Contributed by: PrivacyNews

When a conservative think tank posted the names and salaries of state employees on its website, the database was applauded by the Maine Freedom of Information Coalition, which promotes open government. Since then, state employees have complained that easy public access to their salary information amounts to an invasion of privacy. In response a Democratic legislative leader has submitted a bill to shield the state employees' names. Now critics are accusing her of trying to turn government into a secret society. [Fits the world view that “only the government can save us” Bob]

Source - MPBN

You can't make stuff like this up... Okay, maybe you can. Some things just sound too improbable.

UK: ‘Stolen’ Blackberry containing personal details of cabinet ministers, police and MPs found

April 10, 2009 by admin Filed under: Government Sector, Non-U.S., Theft

From the Daily Mail Online:

A student paid £150 for a Blackberry phone which contained the personal details of cabinet ministers, others MPs, civil servants and senior police officers.

Journalism student Darryl Curtis, 44, said he bought the device from a homeless man in Sheffield and found it contained the details of several hundred people.

He said it also held the National Insurance number, home address and computer passwords of a former chief executive of Sheffield City Council, leading him to believe it was once his.

Learn to program! (so you can determine the outcome of the next election) Do you believe these machines are re-programming themselves during the day?

Voting Machines and 'Calibration Drift'

Posted by Soulskill on Saturday April 11, @08:18AM from the if-it's-not-one-thing dept. Government

An anonymous reader writes

"Tuesday saw elections for school boards and city officials throughout Kansas. In Saline, ES&S voting machines in several locations were 'mis-calibrated,' and when the voter touched next to one candidate's name, the 'x' appeared next to another one. One person I talked to said he tried to vote three times before going to the 80-something-year-old election worker, who told him 'It was doing that earlier, but I thought I fixed it.' From the story in today's Salina Journal: 'The iVotronic machines used in Saline County are sold by Elections Systems and Software. In October, the Brennan Center for Justice at New York University School of Law notified 16 secretaries of state, including Kansas Secretary of State Ron Thornburgh, that the machines are known to record votes to the wrong candidate.' The county does calibrate the machines the day before each election, but, '... in conversations with ES&S on Thursday, [the county clerk] was told that the calibration might change during the day. "What they've seen is calibration drift on a unit," Merriman said. "They're fine in the morning, but by afternoon they're starting to lose their calibration."' There was also coverage of the problems when they occurred two days ago."

A new perspective. At least, a reminder that this didn't start with the California disclosure law... Note that Heartland isn't on this list. (Footnotes omitted)

Revising the Top 10 Data Loss Incidents list

April 10, 2009 by admin Filed under: Breach Reports

It’s been a while since I posted a list of the largest breaches or data loss incidents. My list often does not totally match others’ lists because of different criteria and sources that I use, but we’re often pretty close in our lists. This time, however, my list will likely appear significantly different, due, in part, to the fact that I recently uncovered some old breaches and incidents that pre-date most chronologies. Indeed, it was only because of the Open Security Foundation’s fun “find the oldest incident” contest that I discovered some of these older data loss incidents.

So here’s a list of what may be the 10 largest data loss incidents involving single organizations:


# of Records or People


Date of Incident or Report

Type of Incident



TJX, Inc.










Card Systems





Deutsche Telekom





U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs


Stolen Laptop



HM Revenue and Customs / TNT


Lost Tapes







National Personnel Records Center





Deutsche Telekomm





Revenue Canada


Insider - microfiche

This puts a new perspective on government surveillance – and makes recruiting (of young males) easy!

Swedish Tax Office Targets Webcam Strippers

Posted by samzenpus on Friday April 10, @12:37PM from the anything-for-my-job dept.

Sweden's tax authorities are cracking down on unreported webcam stripper income. They estimate that hundreds of Swedish women are dodging the law, resulting in a tax loss of about 40m Swedish kronor (£3.3m) annually. The search involves tax officials examining stripper websites, hours upon hours, for completely legitimate purposes. A slightly disheveled project leader said 200 Swedish strippers had been investigated so far, adding the total could be as much as 500. "They are young girls, we can see from the photos. We think that perhaps they are not well informed about the rules," he said.

There is something amusing about a legal argument. Perhaps it is the polite way that each side calls the other side “Idiots!”

Copyright Scholar Challenges RIAA/DOJ Position

Posted by Soulskill on Friday April 10, @08:05PM from the whom-some-might-call-an-expert dept. The Courts Government Music

NewYorkCountryLawyer writes

"Leading copyright law scholar Prof. Pamela Samuelson, of the University of California law school, has published a 'working paper' which directly refutes the position taken by the US Department of Justice in RIAA cases on the constitutionality of the RIAA's statutory damages theories. The Department of Justice had argued in its briefs that the Court should follow a 1919 United States Supreme Court case which upheld the constitutionality of a statutory damages award that was 116 times the actual damages sustained, under a statute which gave consumers a right of action against railway companies. The Free Software Foundation filed an amicus curiae brief supporting the view that the more modern, State Farm/Gore test applied by the United States Supreme Court to punitive damages awards is applicable. The paper by Prof. Samuelson is consistent with the FSF brief and contradicts the DOJ briefs, arguing that the Gore test should be applied. A full copy of the paper is available for viewing online (PDF)."

We may never know why, but I bet it will cause a strong reaction from the geek community.

German Wikileaks Domain Suspended Without Warning

Posted by ScuttleMonkey on Friday April 10, @05:41PM from the boom-headshot dept.

mb writes to mention that Germany has gone one step further in impeding access to Wikileaks. Germany's registration authority, DENIC, recently suspended without notice.

"The action comes two weeks after the house of the German WikiLeaks domain sponsor, Theodor Reppe, was searched by German authorities. Police documentation shows that the March 24, 2009 raid was triggered by WikiLeaks' publication of Australia's proposed secret internet censorship list. The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) told Australian journalists that they did not request the intervention of the German government."

This could be huge. Think it would ever get past the US telecomm lobby?

EU may force wireless carriers to allow VoIP on cellphones

Business and Law By Wolfgang Gruener Friday, April 10, 2009 10:18

Brussels (Belgium) – The European Union (EU) is preparing binding guidelines for wireless carriers to allow VoIP services such as Skype to run over their cellular network. EU Telecoms Commissioner Viviane Reding stated that there “action” should be taken against carriers that use their market power to block “innovative services.”

Build you own nuke!

April 10, 2009

Open Access to INIS Database on the Internet

"Established in 1970, [the International Nuclear Information System] INIS represents the world's largest database of scientific and technical literature on a wide range of subjects from nuclear engineering, safeguards and non-proliferation to applications in agriculture, health and industry.... We are pleased to announce that access to INIS database has been now opened to all Internet users around the world. Free, open and unrestricted access is available from the INIS Homepage, or directly from the following link: . This initiative provides easy access to reliable nuclear information on the peaceful uses of nuclear science and technology, including nonconventional literature, and makes nuclear knowledge readily available worldwide. Currently, the INIS Database contains over 3 million bibliographic records and almost 200,000 full-text nonconventional documents, consisting of scientific and technical reports and other non copyrighted information."

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Have I mentioned this one before?


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