Attacks/Breaches

5/24/2017
10:50 AM
Connect Directly
Twitter
LinkedIn
Google+
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%

Target Reaches Breach Settlement: $18.5 Million Fine, Security Controls

Target to cough up $18.5 million to 47 states in a settlement following its 2013 security breach, which exposed data of millions of customers.

Target will pay a total of $18.5 million to 47 states and the District of Columbia as part of an agreement with the state attorneys general, the New York Times reports.

The settlement for the 2013 security breach that compromised the data of millions of Target customers also mandates that Target implement specific security controls and a governance framework around cybersecurity, and follow certain audit and reporting guidelines.

The $18.5M payout is only a fraction of the Target breach's total cost. Target has shelled out $202 million on legal fees and other costs since the attack, the company reported in its annual statement. However, the fine is significant for a number of reasons.

"It signals the fact that the AGs will continue to use financial penalties to hold companies accountable for data breaches involving both personally identifiable information and other financial information," says Viewpost CSO Christopher Pierson, noting that $18.5M is the largest fine to date for State AGs.

Pierson acknowledges many of the security controls mandated in the settlement reportedly were already n place at Target, but says this signifies a positive direction toward a "more robust program wrapped around controls from a risk and operations perspective."

He calls this settlement a "shot across the bow" for all companies to take security and privacy seriously, and try to mitigate the number and scope of data breaches. While it does not require the CISO report to the board and CEO, it does require reporting throughout the year.

"Given the size, scope, and impact of this particular breach, it appears like an opportunity was missed to have cybersecurity be a direct reporting line to the CEO in a way that supports the cyber risks faced by major businesses today," Pierson says.

Target confirmed its systems were breached in late December 2013. Attackers stole 40 million credit card numbers, as well as their cardholders' names, expiration dates, and CVV codes. Any customer who used a credit or debit card between Nov. 27 and Dec. 15 was at risk.

This settlement marks the end of an investigation into how the hackers broke in. It was determined that attackers took credentials from a third-party vendor, and used them to breach a customer database and install malware that could be used to pilfer more customer data.

Given the attackers' point of entry, Pierson says this breach calls for the resurgence of holistic security programs that combine information assurance, vendor assurance, and procurement/contracting to ensure companies are monitoring their data and who has access to it.

Related Content

Kelly Sheridan is the Staff Editor at Dark Reading, where she focuses on cybersecurity news and analysis. She is a business technology journalist who previously reported for InformationWeek, where she covered Microsoft, and Insurance & Technology, where she covered financial ... View Full Bio

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
RyanSepe
50%
50%
RyanSepe,
User Rank: Ninja
5/24/2017 | 11:06:52 PM
Re: Settlement
@Joe. Oh wow, I missed the initial sentence. Regardless, thanks for clarifying.
Joe Stanganelli
50%
50%
Joe Stanganelli,
User Rank: Ninja
5/24/2017 | 10:56:32 PM
Re: Settlement
@Ryan: Exactly what it says.  The states (and DC).  They were the entities who brought suit under the laws that give them standing to do so.
RyanSepe
50%
50%
RyanSepe,
User Rank: Ninja
5/24/2017 | 12:15:19 PM
Settlement
Who was that settlement of 18.5M paid to, exactly?
WebAuthn, FIDO2 Infuse Browsers, Platforms with Strong Authentication
John Fontana, Standards & Identity Analyst, Yubico,  9/19/2018
Turn the NIST Cybersecurity Framework into Reality: 5 Steps
Mukul Kumar & Anupam Sahai, CISO & VP of Cyber Practice and VP Product Management, Cavirin Systems,  9/20/2018
NSS Labs Files Antitrust Suit Against Symantec, CrowdStrike, ESET, AMTSO
Kelly Jackson Higgins, Executive Editor at Dark Reading,  9/19/2018
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon Contest
Write a Caption, Win a Starbucks Card! Click Here
Latest Comment: "I'm not sure I like this top down management approach!"
Current Issue
Flash Poll
The Risk Management Struggle
The Risk Management Struggle
The majority of organizations are struggling to implement a risk-based approach to security even though risk reduction has become the primary metric for measuring the effectiveness of enterprise security strategies. Read the report and get more details today!
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2018-17407
PUBLISHED: 2018-09-23
An issue was discovered in t1_check_unusual_charstring functions in writet1.c files in TeX Live before 2018-09-21. A buffer overflow in the handling of Type 1 fonts allows arbitrary code execution when a malicious font is loaded by one of the vulnerable tools: pdflatex, pdftex, dvips, or luatex.
CVE-2018-17358
PUBLISHED: 2018-09-23
An issue was discovered in the Binary File Descriptor (BFD) library (aka libbfd), as distributed in GNU Binutils 2.31. An invalid memory access exists in _bfd_stab_section_find_nearest_line in syms.c. Attackers could leverage this vulnerability to cause a denial of service (application crash) via a ...
CVE-2018-17359
PUBLISHED: 2018-09-23
An issue was discovered in the Binary File Descriptor (BFD) library (aka libbfd), as distributed in GNU Binutils 2.31. An invalid memory access exists in bfd_zalloc in opncls.c. Attackers could leverage this vulnerability to cause a denial of service (application crash) via a crafted ELF file.
CVE-2018-17360
PUBLISHED: 2018-09-23
An issue was discovered in the Binary File Descriptor (BFD) library (aka libbfd), as distributed in GNU Binutils 2.31. a heap-based buffer over-read in bfd_getl32 in libbfd.c allows an attacker to cause a denial of service through a crafted PE file. This vulnerability can be triggered by the executa...
CVE-2018-17361
PUBLISHED: 2018-09-23
Multiple XSS vulnerabilities in WeaselCMS v0.3.6 allow remote attackers to inject arbitrary web script or HTML via the PATH_INFO to index.php because $_SERVER['PHP_SELF'] is mishandled.