IT Outsourcing causes classified data rift in Sweden

Sweden's  Home Affairs Minister Anders Ygeman and Sweden's Infrastructure Minister Anna Johansson have both resigned after a politically charged data security controversy at the Swedish Transport Agency.

Swedish driving license records and classified information such as data on military vehicles have potentially been exposed to Eastern European IT consultants under the employment of IBM Sweden.  Some of the Eastern European IT consultants were from Romania, Czech Republic, and Serbia.  

IBM Sweden was providing managed IT services as far back as 2015 when Sweden outsourced its transport agency IT operations.  This past January, the Swedish Transport Agency's director general Maria Agren was fired and fined by authorities for "mishandling of classified material."  The current director general of the Swedish Transport Agency Jonas Bjelfvenstam has said there are "no indications that data was disseminated improperly."  IBM has said that it takes "data privacy very seriously."

Leaders from Sweden's Center Party, Moderates, Christian Democrats and Liberals called for an emergency parliament session during Summer holidays and pushed for a motion of no-confidence against the center-left government leaders Infrastructure Minister Anna Johansson, Defense Minister Peter Hultqvist, and Interior Minister Anders Ygeman.  Peter Hultqvist has not resigned.

1k content moderator Facebook profiles exposed

Last year around November 2, 2016, a bug caused the activity log of Facebook (FB) groups to expose the profiles of its content moderators.   The bug involved the creation of this exposure whenever an administrator was removed for breaching the terms of service (TOS.)  Personal details of moderators who had censored accounts as early as August 2016 were then made viewable to the remaining FB group administrators.

Unfortunately, approximately 40 of those 1,000 content moderators worked in a counter-terrorism unit at Facebook's European headquarters in Dublin, Ireland.  Within those 40, it was determined that at least six had their personal profiles viewed by potential terrorists from US State Department designated groups Hezbollah, ISIS, and the Kurdistan Workers Party.

The detection of the exposure was first suspected when moderators began receiving friend requests from known suspects of the terror organizations they were tasked with analyzing.  Some of the moderators are contractors who are only paid just $15 per hour for scouring often high-disturbing material written in other languages.  Facebook policies allow disturbing imagery with the caveat that it doesn't promote or celebrate terrorism.  

SK Bithumb Cryptocurrency breach of 30k customers

Names, mobile numbers, and email addresses of approximately 30,000 South Korean Bithumb exchange customers were exposed from an employee's home computer.  Bithum has indicated no passwords were stolen but some customers have claimed to have lost their funds as a result.  Bithumb is one of the largest bitcoin exchanges and the amount affected is estimated to be billions of SK Won (almost $1M US Dollars.)

Bithumb has promised to pay 100k Won ($87 USD) to each member whose information was exposed.  Once again, the cost savings of bring your own device (BYOD) has proven not to be equal to the reputation and financial costs to a company which should retain workstation security controls and ownership.

50% of SharePoint Installations experience data breach

A report by the Ponemon Institute has revealed that over the last two years, 49% of responded resported a data breach in their SharePoint systems.  Approximately 68% of those respondents have indicated they don't have good visibility where their sensitive data is being stored.

The founder of Ponemon Institute, Dr. Larry Ponemon, has stated "…The pressure to be productive is causing employees to put sensitive data at risk.."

Some key preventative measures for SharePoint security should include an evaluation of your SharePoint’s ability to address regulations such as HIPAA, HITECH, and EUGDPR; maintaining an older version of SharePoint; understanding the security controls in SharePoint 2016 and Office 365 prior to a migration; and maintaining controls with regular periodic reviews of all sensitive data and logs.

Avanti Markets’ vending company PCI Breach

On July 4, 2017, Avanti Markets of Tukwila, Washington discovered some of their self check out payment kiosks had been affected by malware which stole payment card information.  Name, credit card number, and expiry date information was stolen included some customer biometric data.  

Avanti Market self checkout kiosks allow breakroom customers to buy food and drinks with cash, credit cards, or via a fingerprint scan (biometrics.)  

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