Friday Five: 1/30 Edition



Your weekly roundup of infosec and data protection news.

Happy Friday all! It’s been a wintry week here in New England, but 30+ inches of snow wasn’t enough to bury these security headlines. Enjoy!

  1. Data from death inquiries lost by Ministry of Justice” – by BBC News UK
    One of the top stories from this week was the Ministry of Justice’s loss of sensitive death inquiry data. The data was lost when two CDs containing death inquiries for three men went missing in the mail. Despite intensive searching, the discs have not been located. Read the full article to learn more.
  2. Reddit Publishes its First Transparency Report” by Michael Mimoso
    Reddit has joined the likes of Google, Twitter, Wikipedia, and many more by releasing its first ever transparency report. The report covers government requests made for reddit user information in 2014. While these reports always spark some controversy, reddit received a fairly low volume of requests and complied with even fewer. Get a breakdown of the amount and type of user information requests received by reddit in the article on Threatpost.
  3. China’s Great Firewall Gets Taller” by Eva Dou
    China’s infamous “Great Firewall” bolstered its blocking abilities this week, cracking down on VPN usage by Chinese citizens. The move to block VPN access comes as a response to the growing popularity of VPNs in China, which users relied on for getting around their government’s blocking of popular sites like Google and Facebook. Read Eva Dou’s article in the Wall Street Journal for more.
  4. Verizon Wireless to Allow Complete Opt Out of Mobile ‘Supercookies’” by Brian X. Chen and Natasha Singer
    Verizon is looking to put an end to many users’ privacy concerns over their use of “supercookies” for targeted advertisements, announcing this week that they plan to offer an opt-out for this feature in the near future. Read Verizon’s statement along with analysis by Brian X. Chen and Natasha Singer in the New York Times’ Bits blog.
  5. 5 Industries Devastated by Data Breaches in 2014” by Stephanie Crets
    SingleHop’s 2014 data breach recap looks at the most impactful breaches of last year from an industry perspective. The article offers a good mix, covering some of the most talked about data breaches as well as several major breaches that didn’t make headlines. Check out the post on the SingleHop blog for more details on these breaches, as well as some forward-looking recommendations for preventing these incidents.
Nate Lord

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