Attacks/Breaches

10/17/2016
05:30 PM
Connect Directly
Twitter
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%

California Victims Of Yahoo Breach Pursue Claims In State, Not Federal Court

Plaintiffs hope to benefit from California's history of stricter cybersecurity and data privacy law.

Six lawsuits against Yahoo have been filed in California state courts since the company revealed its massive data breach of 500 million user accounts in September. Although federal cases are arising as well, it appears plaintiffs are trying to take advantage of a state court system that has historically been more sympathetic to breach victims' plight.  

The key benefit: "The Federal court has historically required proof of actual injury to have occurred as a result of a breach," explains privacy expert Rebecca Herold, of Rebecca Herold & Associates. "The [California] courts have not been as strict in requiring such evidence of injury."

Herold explains that California residents may choose to limit a class action case to plaintiffs who are California residents instead of being lumped in those all over the country; particularly since certain regulations, like the state's strict data breach notification law, will apply only to them.

However, the first suit filed in California was filed by New York resident Ronald Schwartz on behalf of all affected US users. The suit accuses Yahoo of "reckless disregard for the security of its users' personal information that it promised to protect." On Oct. 7, Schwartz's attorneys made a motion to relate his case to some of those filed by others.

The various cases invoke California's laws on negligence, personal injury, breach of contract, consumer protection and invasion of privacy, and data breach notification. California was a trailblazer in data breach notification law, and being that there is still suspicion about when precisely Yahoo discovered this breach, there may be concerns that they violated strict notification regulation by delaying reports.

"[California] has long been seen as consumer-friendly with strong support for privacy protection, for over 14 years now," says Herold. "With that history of being pro-consumer and pro-privacy, the plaintiffs from California may believe they are more likely to win their case than they would from a Federal court, which historically has seemed to support businesses more than consumers when it comes to privacy breaches."

Whether or not users can prove the breach has done damage to them, the breach has hurt Yahoo. So much damage has been done to the company that it may trigger a "material adverse change" clause in its merger agreement with Verizon, which would enable Verizon to renegotiate the $4.8 billion arrangement made between the two companies this summer.

 

Sara Peters is Senior Editor at Dark Reading and formerly the editor-in-chief of Enterprise Efficiency. Prior that she was senior editor for the Computer Security Institute, writing and speaking about virtualization, identity management, cybersecurity law, and a myriad ... View Full Bio

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
Mark Potter
50%
50%
Mark Potter,
User Rank: Apprentice
10/18/2016 | 3:57:16 PM
Thanks Sara and Rebecca
Great article. Thanks Sara and Rebecca!
CISOs' No. 1 Concern in 2018: The Talent Gap
Dawn Kawamoto, Associate Editor, Dark Reading,  1/10/2018
How to Attract More Women Into Cybersecurity - Now
Dawn Kawamoto, Associate Editor, Dark Reading,  1/12/2018
AI in Cybersecurity: Where We Stand & Where We Need to Go
Raffael Marty, VP Security Analytics, Sophos,  1/11/2018
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon
Current Issue
The Year in Security: 2017
A look at the biggest news stories (so far) of 2017 that shaped the cybersecurity landscape -- from Russian hacking, ransomware's coming-out party, and voting machine vulnerabilities to the massive data breach of credit-monitoring firm Equifax.
Flash Poll
[Strategic Security Report] Navigating the Threat Intelligence Maze
[Strategic Security Report] Navigating the Threat Intelligence Maze
Most enterprises are using threat intel services, but many are still figuring out how to use the data they're collecting. In this Dark Reading survey we give you a look at what they're doing today - and where they hope to go.
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2017-0290
Published: 2017-05-09
NScript in mpengine in Microsoft Malware Protection Engine with Engine Version before 1.1.13704.0, as used in Windows Defender and other products, allows remote attackers to execute arbitrary code or cause a denial of service (type confusion and application crash) via crafted JavaScript code within ...

CVE-2016-10369
Published: 2017-05-08
unixsocket.c in lxterminal through 0.3.0 insecurely uses /tmp for a socket file, allowing a local user to cause a denial of service (preventing terminal launch), or possibly have other impact (bypassing terminal access control).

CVE-2016-8202
Published: 2017-05-08
A privilege escalation vulnerability in Brocade Fibre Channel SAN products running Brocade Fabric OS (FOS) releases earlier than v7.4.1d and v8.0.1b could allow an authenticated attacker to elevate the privileges of user accounts accessing the system via command line interface. With affected version...

CVE-2016-8209
Published: 2017-05-08
Improper checks for unusual or exceptional conditions in Brocade NetIron 05.8.00 and later releases up to and including 06.1.00, when the Management Module is continuously scanned on port 22, may allow attackers to cause a denial of service (crash and reload) of the management module.

CVE-2017-0890
Published: 2017-05-08
Nextcloud Server before 11.0.3 is vulnerable to an inadequate escaping leading to a XSS vulnerability in the search module. To be exploitable a user has to write or paste malicious content into the search dialogue.