Following Thursday's news that both MasterCard and Visa were informing some customers that a U.S. retailer -- now positively identified as Polo Ralph Lauren -- had experienced a security mishap that may have compromised card holders' data, the issue has been confirmed as a technology-related problem. In a statement phoned in to News.com overnight, Polo said that the credit card data in question was inappropriately stored in its point-of-sales software system.
According to gizmo hub Engadget, the jackets, in addition to letting parents track their kids, sport a panic button that children can push in an emergency, immediately summoning a security agent to their exact location. The GPS-enabled blazers are made by school uniform maker Ogo-Sangyo, with GPS technology provided by Secom, which previously teamed up on a kids' backpack with built-in GPS.
Both MasterCard and Visa have confirmed a security breach at a U.S. based retailer that may have compromised the credit card information of an undetermined number of their customers. While the companies have yet to indicate that there is an information technology-related element to the attack, the incident follows on the footsteps on a number of high profile consumer data losses by LexisNexis, ChoicePoint and others, and is likely to draw comparisons to those events. One source familiar with the incident said the data theft could affect a number of additional banks and credit card companies.
While neither credit … Read more
Congress returned on Wednesday to the topic of what new laws, if any, are necessary to respond to security breaches.
At a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing, representatives of the Federal Trade Commission, FBI, Secret Service, ChoicePoint, LexisNexis, and Acxiom were scheduled to testify.
This week saw a flurry of legislation anounced as a response to a recent string of high-profile data thefts and other mishaps. Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., wants to require disclosure of breaches, while another Democrat-backed bill casts a far wider net. (I've placed the text of the second online.)
Look for a federalism theme to bubble … Read more
ZDNet UK reported on Tuesday that spammers are latching on to the pope's passing with a spam campaign pushing a bogus moneymaking scheme. The spam, detected by British-based security firm Sophos, promises free books supposedly penned by the late pontiff. The e-mails contain a link directing users to a "free moneymaking secrets" Web site with no connection to the pope, who was buried in Rome on Friday.
"Spammers are prepared to plumb the depths in their attempt to get Internet users to buy … Read more
The Information Technology Laboratory (ITL) of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), itself part of the Technology Administration (TA), which is a division of the U.S. Department of Commerce, released a report touting its technical accomplishments in 2004.
The report details how the ITL advanced standards, measurements and technologies in e-voting security, biometrics, building safety, electronic health records, information overload and mobile computing. Looking ahead, ITL Director Shashi Phoha said her group was engaged in bringing together the worlds of computer technology and quantum physics with the Quantum Information Program, the success of which she deemed "… Read more
Tongues have been wagging about payments made by private companies to participate in the CISO Exchange, a cybersecurity effort that gives them access to government decision makers. Now it looks like Rep. Tom Davis, the chairman of the House Committee on Government Reform, is easing back on official support for the group.
Davis has pulled the plug on the committee's staff director, Melissa Wojciak, serving as co-chair of the CISO Exchange's advisory board, according to a report on GovExec.com. The group was launched in February as a public-private effort to improve data security on federal systems--a much-needed … Read more
In a topsy-turvy flush of national pride, Russia's cybercrime police unit has warned that the hackers there are the world leaders, reports Dan Ilett of News.com's sister site ZDNet UK.
"Everyone knows that Russians are good at maths," Boris Miroshnikov, a lieutenant general in the ominously named Department K told a London conference crowd. "Our software writers are the best in the world, that's why our hackers are the best in the world."
Also in the running for top cybercrime nation are Brazil, home of a number of active hacking groups, and … Read more
The Mabir. A worm can spread via Bluetooth connections, but more worrying is that it can reach new targets using Multimedia Message Service. MMS is the mobile technology that lets people send text messages that contain audio, video and pictures. The worm waits for MMS or regular SMS text messages to come into the infected handset, then shoots off a reply that carries the malicious file.
Given how easy it is to send messages to handsets around the world, … Read more
Carjackers in Malaysia were unable to get past the biometric security device on a Mercedes, so they chopped off the owner's finger, used it to start the car and left him bleeding on the side of the road, according to this BBC story.
Consider it a cautionary tale for those considering implanting RFID chips in their bodies to thwart kidnappers.