Security Breach Notification Laws

The National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) has provided a complete list of security breach notification laws implemented at the state level (USA):

All 50 states, the District of Columbia, Guam, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands have enacted legislation requiring private or governmental entities to notify individuals of security breaches of information involving personally identifiable information.

This link provides links to each and every law: Security Breach Notification Laws

 

Nonpublic Personal Information (NPI)

Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act (GLBA), 15 U.S.C. § 6801-6809 (2002). Available at: https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/15/6809

(4)Nonpublic personal information
(A)The term “nonpublic personal information” means personally identifiable financial information—
(i)provided by a consumer to a financial institution;
(ii)resulting from any transaction with the consumer or any service performed for the consumer; or
(iii)otherwise obtained by the financial institution.
(B)Such term does not include publicly available information, as such term is defined by the regulations prescribed under section 6804 of this title.
(C)Notwithstanding subparagraph (B), such term—
(i)shall include any list, description, or other grouping of consumers (and publicly available information pertaining to them) that is derived using any nonpublic personal information other than publicly available information; but
(ii)shall not include any list, description, or other grouping of consumers (and publicly available information pertaining to them) that is derived without using any nonpublic personal information.

(GLBA, 15 U.S.C. § 6809(4)(B))

 

Personally Identifiable Financial Information (PIFI)

PIFI is defined in Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Final Rule: Privacy of Consumer Financial Information (Regulation S-P) 17 CFR Part 248 (2000). Available at: https://www.sec.gov/rules/final/34-42974.htm

Both the GLBA and the regulations define NPI[5] in terms of PIFI.
The GLBA does not define PIFI but the FTC regulations define the term to mean any information:
(i) A consumer provides to you [the financial institution] to obtain a financial product or service from you;
(ii) About a consumer resulting from any transaction involving a financial product or service between you and a consumer; or
(iii) You otherwise obtain about a consumer in connection with providing a financial product or service to that consumer.

Bragging Rights: NITTF Insider Threat Training

The office of the Director of National Intelligence (DNI), National Insider Threat Task Force (NITTF), has provided access to several Insider Threat training resources. I completed the Insider Threat Training Module.

The module just covers the basics, but it’s well made and clearly explains key topics. It’s a good introduction to understanding insider threats and it provides this nifty certificate upon completion:

Radioactive Experiments on Orphans

Vanderbilt University physicians administered radioactive cocktails to pregnant women in Nashville. The University of Chicago fed the radioactive elements strontium and cesium to 102 unwitting patients at state schools. One Dickensian institution, the Fernald School in Waltham, Massachusetts, added radioactive oatmeal to the menus of thirty orphans in a program sponsored by the AEC with the support of the Quaker Oats Company. Old videotapes reveal that some of these Fernald boys were African American, but no records with racial identifiers were ever released. When victims died, government scientists obtained their bodies and autopsied them carefully, measuring the levels of radioactivity and biological damage. To enable large numbers of these grim assessments, at least fifteen thousand bodies were exposed and collected for one project alone: Operation Sunshine. Until the mid-1980s and without the knowledge of patients or their next of kin, this program shipped the bodies and body parts of radiation experiment victims to be dissected at headquarters in Los Alamos, New Mexico.

Medical Apartheid: The Dark History of Medical Experimentation on Black Americans from Colonial Times to the Present by Harriet A. Washington

GDPR: Search Engines and Privacy

Quote 1:

The European Court of Justice set out the general rule for these decisions in 2014: the search engine which lists results leading to information about a person must balance the individual’s right to privacy against Google’s (and the greater public’s) right to display / read publicly available information.

Quote 2:

The bigger issue though is the – almost deliberate – lack of clarity. Each person’s details need to be considered on their own merit, and a decision made based on this balance between the rights of the individual and the rights of the wider society, based on a subjective consideration of the original crime, the persons actions since and the benefit to society as a whole. This is further complicated by the fact that different rules will apply in different countries, even within the EU, as case law diverges. The result: Google is likely to face challenges if it takes anything other than a very obedient approach to those requests to be forgotten which it receives.

Google or Gone: UK Court Rules on ‘Right to be Forgotten,’ Data Protection Representatives (DPR), by Tim Bell, April 16, 2018

Phishing: Setting Traps

Lay traps: When you’ve mastered the basics above, consider setting traps for phishers, scammers and unscrupulous marketers. Some email providers — most notably Gmail — make this especially easy. When you sign up at a site that requires an email address, think of a word or phrase that represents that site for you, and then add that with a “+” sign just to the left of the “@” sign in your email address. For example, if I were signing up at example.com, I might give my email address as krebsonsecurity+example@gmail.com. Then, I simply go back to Gmail and create a folder called “Example,” along with a new filter that sends any email addressed to that variation of my address to the Example folder. That way, if anyone other than the company I gave this custom address to starts spamming or phishing it, that may be a clue that example.com shared my address with others (or that it got hacked, too!). I should note two caveats here. First, although this functionality is part of the email standard, not all email providers will recognize address variations like these. Also, many commercial Web sites freak out if they see anything other than numerals or letters, and may not permit the inclusion of a “+” sign in the email address field.

After Epsilon: Avoiding Phishing Scams & Malware, Krebs on Security, by Brian Krebs, 04/06/2011

Unintentional Insider Threat (UIT)

An unintentional insider threat is (1) a current or former employee, contractor, or business partner (2) who has or had authorized access to an organization’s network system, or data and who, (3) through action or inaction without malicious intent, (4) unwittingly causes harm or substantially increases the probability of future serious harm to the confidentiality, integrity, or availability.

Unintentional Insider Threat and Social Engineering, Insider Threat Blog, Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) Security Engineering Institute (SEI), by David Mundie, 03/31/2014

Phishing: Establishing an Effective Defense

Quote 1:

…it’s unrealistic to expect every single user to avoid falling victim to the attack. User education may not be an effective preventative measure against this kind of phishing. Education can, however, be effective for encouraging users to report phishing emails. A well-designed incident response plan can help mitigate the impact of attacks.

Quote 2:

  • Defense 1 – Filter emails at the gateway. The first step stops as many malicious emails as possible from reaching users’ inboxes….

  • Defense 2 – Implement host-based controls. Host-based controls can stop phishing payloads that make it to the end user from running. Basic host-based controls include using antivirus and host-based firewalls…

  • Defense 3 – Implement outbound filtering. Outbound filtering is one of the most significant steps you can take to defend your organization’s network. With proper outbound filtering, attacks that circumvent all other controls can still be stopped…

Defending Against Phishing, Insider Threat Blog, Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) Security Engineering Institute (SEI), by Michael J. Albrethsen, 12/16/2016

Spear Phishing: Effective Because it’s Believable

Quote 1:

Spear phishing is targeted. The attackers did their research, usually through social engineering. They might already know your name or your hometown, your bank, or your place of employment—information easily accessed via social media profiles and postings. That bit of personalized information adds a lot of credibility to the email.

Spear-phishing emails work because they’re believable.

Quote 2:

Spear-phishing attacks are not trivial or conducted by random hackers. They are targeted at a specific person, often times by a specific group. Many publicly documented advanced persistent threat (APT) attack groups, including Operation Aurora and the recently publicized FIN4 group, used spear-phishing attacks to achieve their goals.

-Best Defense Against Spear Phishing, FIreEye

Quote 1:

Phishing emails are exploratory attacks in which criminals attempt to obtain victims’ sensitive data, such as personally identifiable information (PII) or network access credentials. These attacks open the door for further infiltration into any network the victim can access. Phishing typically involves both social engineering and technical trickery to deceive victims into opening attached files, clicking on embedded links and revealing sensitive information.

Spear phishing is more targeted. Cyber criminals who use spear-phishing tactics segment their victims, personalize the emails and impersonate specific senders. Their goal is to trick targets into clicking a link, opening an attachment or taking an unauthorized action. A phishing campaign may blanket an entire database of email addresses, but spear phishing targets specific individuals within specific organizations with a specific mission. By mining social networks for personal information about targets, an attacker can write emails that are extremely accurate and compelling. Once the target clicks on a link or opens an attachment, the attacker establishes a foothold in the network, enabling them to complete their illicit mission.

Quote 2:

A spear-phishing attack can display one or more of the following characteristics:

  • Blended or multi-vector threat. Spear phishing uses a blend of email spoofing, dynamic URLs and drive-by downloads to bypass traditional defenses.
  • Use of zero-day vulnerabilities. Advanced spearphishing attacks leverage zero-day vulnerabilities in browsers, plug-ins and desktop applications to compromise systems.
  • Multi-stage attack. The spear-phishing email is the first stage of a blended attack that involves further stages of malware outbound communications, binary downloads and data exfiltration.
  • Well-crafted email forgeries. Spear-phishing email threats usually target individuals, so they don’t bear much resemblance to the high-volume, broadcast spam that floods the Internet.

White Paper: Spear-Phishing Attacks, FIreEye