Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Like many breaches, this one continues to grow as the client organizations notify their customers and we are able to link it back to the company responsible for the failure.


American Honda Motor Co – Customer Info Exposed

December 27, 2010 by admin

Rafal Los writes:

Alright, so Honda’s web sites didn’t actually get hacked, but like McDonalds they are on the receiving end of a lump of coal in their stocking for Christmas.

A post on Honda’s “Piloteers.org” website for Honda Pilot owners hints at a data breach at a vendor maintaining a mailing list for customer of My Acura and Honda’s Owner Link websites. From the forums post, it would appear as though SilverPop, the same company that was behind the breach of email addresses and information, also included Honda [likely this is fallout from the SilverPop hack].

Read more of this Following the White Rabbit post on Infosec Island.

Unlike other entities reporting a breach involving an email marketing vendor, Honda says no passwords were acquired or at risk:

American Honda Motor Co., Inc. recently became aware of unauthorized access to an email list used by a vendor to create a welcome email to customers who have an Owner Link or My Acura vehicle account. The data that was obtained included your email address, your name, Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) and User ID. Your password was not included and no other sensitive information was contained in that list.

SilverPop has not publicly named entities affected by the breach, nor have they issued any additional updates since their Dec. 15th statement on their blog.

One more anti-Behavioral Advertising lawsuit


Apple Apps Give Information to Advertisers, Suit Says

December 27, 2010 by Dissent

Joel Rosenblatt reports:

Apple Inc. was sued over claims that applications for the company’s iPhone and iPad transmit users’ personal information to advertising networks without customers’ consent.

The complaint, which seeks class action, or group, status, was filed on Dec. 23 in federal court in San Jose, California. The suit claims Cupertino, California-based Apple’s iPhones and iPads are encoded with identifying devices that allow advertising networks to track what applications users download, how frequently they’re used and for how long.

Read more on Bloomberg Businessweek.

Governments often acknowledge Audits, then ignore them.


Auditors Question TSA's Tech Spending, Security Solutions

"Government auditors have faulted the TSA and its parent agency, the Department of Homeland Security, for failing to properly test and evaluate technology before spending money on it. The TSA spent about $36 million on devices that puffed air on travelers to 'sniff' them out for explosives residue. All 207 of those machines ended up in warehouses, abandoned as unable to perform as advertised, deployed in many airports before the TSA had fully tested them. Since it was founded in 2001, the TSA has spent roughly $14 billion in more than 20,900 transactions with dozens of contractors, including $8 billion for the famous new body scanners that have recently come under scrutiny for being unable to perform the task for which they are advertised. 'TSA has an obsession of finding a single box that will solve all its problems. They've spent and wasted money looking for that one box, and there is no such solution,' said John Huey, an airport security expert."

So that's one crime solved for every 2000 or so cameras? How many additional police officers would that pay for? They at least have the potential to prevent crime...


London Police Credit CCTV Cameras With Six Solved Crimes Per Day

"CCTV cameras across London help solve almost six crimes a day, the Metropolitan Police has said. According to the article, 'the number of suspects who were identified using the cameras went up from 1,970 in 2009 to 2,512 this year. The rise in the number of criminals caught also raises public confidence and counters bad publicity for CCTV.'"

[From: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/6108496.stm

There are up to 4.2m CCTV cameras in Britain - about one for every 14 people.

(Related) We're talking toy drones here. Fortunately, they don't come with toy missiles. Imagine how the government might react when (not if) someone uses these toys for “terrorist acts”


German politicians see camera drones as data protection risk

December 27, 2010 by Dissent

Flying drones that take pictures of foreign subjects may sound like part of a military arsenal, but they’re also available to consumers now. Consumer Affairs Minister Aigner has called the new devices a privacy threat.

… some German politicians are concerned about privacy issues relating to the toys priced at 299 euros ($393) and steered by devices like the iPhone and iPad.

“Even just by using the small, helicopter-like hobby models, people can quickly go beyond the limits of the law,” said Ilse Aigner, Germany’s consumer affairs minister, in an interview with the Deutsche Presse Agentur.

For example, if hobbyists or children fly the AR.Drone onto neighbors’ property and capture images of them in their home without their permission, the photographs could already stand in violation of data privacy laws.

Read more on Deutsche Welle.

First a Barbie with a built-in cam and now these toy drones? Will we need regulation of toys for privacy risks? What next?

Is this one of those commie ideas?


Putin Orders Russian Move To GNU/Linux

"Vladimir Putin has signed an order calling for Russian federal authorities to move to GNU/Linux, and for the creation of 'a single repository of free software used in the federal bodies of executive power.' There have been a number of Russian projects to roll out free software, notably in the educational sector, but none so far has really taken off. With the backing of Putin, could this be the breakthrough free software has been waiting for?"

I can see the advertising pitch now: “School Districts! Why pay for a gym and sports teams? Replace all that with video games!”


Microsoft Kinect With World of Warcraft

"Researchers at the University of Southern California Institute for Creative Technologies have developed software that enables control of PC video games using the Microsoft Kinect sensor. Their toolkit, known as the Flexible Action and Articulated Skeleton Toolkit (FAAST), emulates custom-configured keyboard controls triggered by body posture and specific gestures. This video shows a user playing the online game World of Warcraft using the Kinect. Potential applications of this technology include video games for motor rehabilitation after stroke and reducing childhood obesity through healthy gaming."

Could this be a budget saving idea in the US?


Portugal's Decriminalization of Drug Use Pays Off; U.S. Eyes Lessons

Drugs in Portugal are still illegal. But here's what Portugal did: It changed the law so that users are sent to counseling and sometimes treatment instead of criminal courts and prison. The switch from drugs as a criminal issue to a public health one was aimed at preventing users from going underground.

Here's what happened between 2000 and 2008:

-- There were small increases in illicit drug use among adults, but decreases for adolescents and problem users, such as drug addicts and prisoners.

-- Drug-related court cases dropped 66 percent.

-- Drug-related HIV cases dropped 75 percent. In 2002, 49 percent of people with AIDS were addicts; by 2008 that number fell to 28 percent.

(Related) Additional criminalization?


MA: New drug law will track more prescriptions

By Dissent, December 27, 2010

Sarah Favot and Caroline Hailey report on prescription monitoring in Massachusetts:

Massachusetts residents face a new routine when they pick up certain prescription drugs at the pharmacy on Jan. 1.

Under a law passed last summer, they will have to show a driver’s license or another approved ID before the druggist can give them prescriptions ranging from addictive opiates to certain medicines for diarrhea. Their purchases will be recorded in a massive database that will include their names, addresses and the kinds and amount of pills they take.

The goal of the law is to combat the growing problem of prescription drug abuse, particularly among teens and young adults. According to one federal survey, Massachusetts ranked 8th among those 18-to-25 who have used drugs not prescribed to them.

The law is similar to legislation passed in 33 states and being initiated in another 10 states. Studies suggest the programs can help combat prescription drug abuse, but the law has other consequences that play against the national debate about the size and reach of government.

Read more on MetroWest Daily News

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