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Cybersecurity and Data Breaches

This archive displays posts tagged as relevant to cybersecurity and data breach issues. You may also be interested in the following pages:

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Biden Administration Focuses on Cybersecurity in Government Contracting – What Can Whistleblowers Do?

Posted  06/21/21
Aisle of computer servers in room with blue light
Following a number of high-profile cybersecurity incidents, the Biden administration is taking steps to improve the nation’s cybersecurity infrastructure.  The federal government is making cybersecurity an enforcement priority, devoting additional resources to enforcement and upgrades, and strengthening technology standards.  Many of these planned improvements focus on the federal government’s own information...

Catch of the Week: SEC Cracks Down Again on Cybersecurity Disclosures

Posted  06/17/21
hacker in hoodie typing code in program using laptop in dark studio
This week’s Catch of the Week goes to the Securities and Exchange Commission for its latest settlement involving cybersecurity risks.  The SEC charged First American Financial Corporation, an insurance company listed on the New York Stock Exchange, with failing to adequately control for cybersecurity risks.  According to the SEC’s Order, a journalist alerted First American that it had a major vulnerability in...

June 15, 2021

Real estate settlement services company First American Financial Corporation will pay a penalty of $487,616 to resolve allegations that the publicly-traded company released incomplete information about a cybersecurity vulnerability in its document sharing platform that exposed over 800 million document images dating back to 2003, including images containing sensitive personal data such as social security numbers and financial information. The SEC charged that First American had deficient disclosure controls that left senior management unaware of the company's earlier discovery of the vulnerability and its attempts to remediate it.  SEC

May 12, 2021

Registered broker-dealer GWFS Equities Inc. will pay a penalty of $1.5 million to settle allegations that it failed to respond appropriately when it detected external bad actors gaining, or attempting to gain, access to the retirement accounts of participants in the employer-sponsored retirement plans it serviced, including through the use of improperly obtained electronic login information, user names, email addresses, and passwords. There was no allegation that this personal identifying information was disclosed in a breach of GWFS systems. However, the bad actors used this information to request distributions from plan participant accounts. While GWFS detected and blocked many of these attempts, the SEC charged that GWFS failed to file suspicious activity reports, or filed incomplete SARs, with respect to the account takeovers. SEC

Listen to James Glenn, Cybersecurity Whistleblower and Constantine Cannon Client, on Tech & Main Podcast

Posted  05/10/21
Cybersecurity whistleblower James Glenn and Constantine Cannon whistleblower attorney Mike Ronickher spoke to the Tech & Main cybersecurity podcast about the experience Glenn had discovering and reporting a security flaw in Cisco’s Video Surveillance Manager software.  Glenn, who was represented by Constantine Cannon, brought a whistleblower lawsuit that resulted in the first government recovery under the False...

DOJ Previews False Claims Act Enforcement Priorities for 2021

Posted  03/5/21
Department of Justice Seal on the United States Flag
The False Claims Act is the federal government's primary enforcement tool to combat fraud against the public.  Every year the government recovers billions of dollars under the statute, primarily with the help of whistleblowers.  Under the so-called qui tam provisions of the act, whistleblowers are authorized to act as private attorneys general and bring lawsuits on behalf of the government and recover a portion of...

February 16, 2021

Nigerian national Obinwanne Okeke was sentenced to ten years in prison on charges arising from his role in a computer-based fraud scheme that caused an estimated $11 million in losses.  Okeke’s fraud included unauthorized access via email compromise to the computer systems of a division Caterpillar, from which defendant directed fraudulent wire transfers supported by fake invoices.  USAO ED VA

January 27, 2021

One of the largest marketing companies in the world, Epsilon Data Management LLC, has agreed to pay $150 million to settle claims that its Direct to Consumer (DTC) Unit knowingly sold the data of more than 30 million consumers—which the company had identified as most likely to respond to marketing solicitations—to clients it knew were engaged in fraud schemes against the elderly and other vulnerable individuals.  In addition to the monetary settlement, $127.5 million of which will be set aside for victim restitution, Epsilon has entered into a deferred prosecution agreement with the government, agreed to implement significant compliance measures to safeguard consumer data, and agreed to maintain a procedure for consumers to request that their data not be sold.  USAO CO

January 7, 2021

Andrei Tyurin, who previously pleaded guilty to an extensive computer hacking campaign that targeted financial institutions, brokerage firms, and financial publishers, was sentenced to 12 years in prison.  Tyurin’s hacking, which included the theft of data for 80 million customers of J.P. Morgan Chase, was done in part in to advance securities fraud schemes with co-conspirators.  USAO SDNY

2020 Whistleblower of the Year Candidate – Sophie Zhang

Posted  01/4/21
screenshot of facebook login website
Facebook, the world’s largest social media platform, regularly has been criticized for its inaction when it comes to tackling foreign interference and disinformation campaigns. This year, Facebook came under fire yet again when employee Sophie Zhang recounted in a departing memo shared companywide, which later was leaked to the press, that Facebook ignored widespread global political manipulation on its platform and...
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