Health Net Asked to Explain Disclosure Delay

There was a tiny blurb in the Sunday Arizona Republic regarding a request by the Arizona Attorney General to Health Net regarding a data breach notification. It seems they delayed telling anyone that data was stolen or missing for six months or so: Attorney General Terry Goddard wants a Connecticut-based insurance company to tell Arizona policyholders whether their personal, medical or financial information was lost or stolen in a security breach six months ago. Goddard’s office says a hard drive containing personal data on 316,000 current and former Health Net policyholders from Arizona has been missing since May from the company’s headquarters in Shelton, Conn. He says the company did not notify the Arizona Department of Insurance until Wednesday. It’s not clear whether this has anything to do with the breach reported back in February, but from the details provided this appears unrelated, as that was a case of inadvertent disclosure. I did a little more digging and it appears a few other states are getting the same letter, as mentioned in this Computerworld post Health Net says 1.5M medical records lost in data breach: Connecticut A.G. calls six-month delay in reporting loss ‘incomprehensible’. A hard drive with seven years’ worth of personal financial and medical information on about 1.5 million customers of Health Net of the Northeast Inc. was reported missing to state officials yesterday – six months after the drive went missing. Excuse me, but what the $%(@ were the details of 1.5 million Health Net customers doing on a portable device? Is there really a major U.S. firm out there without laptop & media encryption mandated? This comes right on the heels of the BofA data compromise I mentioned last Friday, which also does not appear to have been disclosed. And if Health Net’s attorney’s interpreted Arizona’s law the same way I did, it’s not clear they felt compelled to. If you didn’t read Rich’s post on The Anonymization of Losses: A Market Forces Failure , or Bruce Schneier’s post Security in a Reputation Economy, now is a good time. Both are excellent and both discuss the hidden costs of lax security such as this, along with the lack of market forces necessary to avoid stupid @$$ stuff with patient data. It appears that whatever checks and balances are supposed to be in place to prod health organizations into securing personal, financial, and medical data are absent. If there is no penalty, why change? Share:

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Microsoft IE Issues Reported

Over the weekend 0-day exploit was reported in Microsoft Internet Explorer 6 and 7. Both Threatpost and Heise Security posted that the getElementsByTagName() JavaScript method within Microsoft’s HTML viewer has a dangling pointer. This leaves the browser susceptible to code injection; which in the best case crashes the browser, and in a worse case directs you to a malicious site. In first tests by heise Security, Internet Explorer crashed when trying to access the HTML page. Security firm Symantec confirms that, while the current zero day exploit is unreliable, more stable exploit code which will present a real threat is expected to appear in the near future. French security firm VUPEN managed to reproduce the security problem in Internet Explorer 6 and 7 on Windows XP SP3, warning that this allows attackers to inject arbitrary code and infect a system with malicious code. Microsoft has not yet commented on the problem. The workaround is to disable JavaScript until the patch is available. Yeah, yeah, I know, you have heard this before. And this means half the web pages you visit won’t work and every piece of online meeting software is completely hosed, so you will leave it enabled anyway. It was worth a shot. Be careful until you have patched. Another post on the Hackademix site discusses a flaw with the IE 8 XSS filter. … it’s way worse than a simple implementation bug. Its root is a flawed design choice: when a potential XSS attack is detected, IE 8 modifies the response (the content of the target page) in order to neuter the malicious code. This is, incidentally, the only significant departure from the NoScript approach, which modifies the request (the data sent by the client) instead, and is therefore immune. … IE 8’s response-changing mechanism can be easily exploited to turn a normally innocuous fragment of the victim page into a XSS injection. I will update this post when I have additional information from Microsoft on either issue. Share:

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